The RIBA President's Medals Student Awards

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Louisiana is a surrogate for, a twin of the Philippines, by virtue of a rumor (they suppose that Filipinos jumped ship from Spanish galleons and settled there) . This continuity is a body apart, an echo of elusive authenticity.

Sea levels insinuate correlations for the life and inhabitation of the five, architectural horizons draw contours of community between that which is over the levee, on the bayou, or lost at sea. This affinity for otherness, in a scale of anomalous inhabitation, is a literal figure
ground for the fabrication of a location: where most is water, land in sight. The appearance of shapes and colors start to draw a constellation, an after-image, of a necessary fiction.

You wanted to suggest architectures to which one might glance without the slightest pause,
which might be missed or lost entirely; which might be, if even quietly and only for a time, a hold in that seeming endless fall in immobility which has come to characterize the culture to which you belong. You wanted to suggest that a culture, a community or the missive, is simply a co-appearance: we navigate between a fictioned there and a constructing here, perhaps toward a self-disclosure.

Evita Yumul


This project represents a highly articulate and methodologically reflected consideration of the nature of cultural diaspora. The author considers her own position to the culture left behind, and to the first Philippine diaspora in the United States, of which she can no longer legitimately consider herself part. She does so in an architectural language of desuetude, locating her own spatial speculations on the obsolete fringes of these two cultures: colonial churches in the Philippines and infrastructural architecture along the Louisiana bayou, which was home to the first U.S. Philippine exile colony. The beautifully drawn renderings consciously evoke the works of other artists and architects who dealt with the problem of memory but also assert their integrity as constructionally considered, complete renderings of plausible buildings.

Lynnette Widder
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