Being in another country and experiencing a whole nother culture apart from your own may be overwhelming. They would have to immerse one’s self to that culture and adapt quickly. Paul and Pierre, our two favorite interns from West France had 3 months in the Philippines to take it all in. To learn about the country’s design culture, design process, and even make the most of their free time to go to sought after beaches in the country!
We interview Pierre to learn about his and Paul’s experience!
1. What will you remember most about the Philippines?
All the good people we met. All the wonderful places we went to. Seeing the wild nature before our eyes. We went to Mindoro twice (Puerto Galera and 50 kilometers around the area, Tagaytay twice as well, Baler, Zambales, Batangas, Sagada and Banaue, Bohol, and Palawan for two weeks which was the best trip for us!
2. What did you learn from our culture here in the Philippines and for staying here for about three months?
We were on the other side of the planet from home (France). With that, Paul and I had to be independent and do everything by ourselves. The life and culture is really different also. Imagine, the population of the city we live in France holds about 500,000 people. When we arrived here, we learned that 20 million people lived in t his city alone (Manila). We had to be familiar with this new life quickly. Thankfully, we met great people in Heim who taught us how to live here and bringing us to places we’d be interested in going!
Of course you had to adopt quickly. Going to the Philippines was just an unforgettable experience. It’s incredible how much you can learn about yourself and the world, the good and the bad thing, as much as you travel. It’s incredible how much you can realize so many thing.
One on the best things in the Philippines for us was the fact that most of people speak well english. It is really easy to meet people, ask for information, have fun and discuss with everybody especially with the team and clients at work. Generally, Filipinos are very welcoming and smiling in spite of the huge social and economical inequalities in the country.
I can speak about it during 5 hours so stop me if you have enough haha!
3. Which project in Heim Interiors do you think was most fulfilling for you?
We think that it’s the project we done only together for a potential AirBnB unit. We had to design a very small unit to be a Air BnB studio less than 30 SQM with a very small budget. so it was a very interesting project for the fact that we had to work with a lot of constraints. We conceptualized and designed a unit in the small kitchen/living room with some storage and with a high table to work/eat. Everything was done to be efficient and to not take a lot of space. This task was the one that enabled us to express ourselves the most.
We brainstormed, searched inspirations and materials that can fit in the limited budget. It was a great experience to find efficient ideas and the best way of living for a small unit such as this. We learned how it’s important to have a friendly team that can help you if you have a problem with projects, and moreover to work in a cool atmosphere.
4. What else did you learn from your internship regarding design or even the design process?
One lesson I learned from our internship is that, clients should realize how the sustainable design is important, and this is a mission for the designer/architect. People just think about the aesthetic, but their projects designed with aesthetic AND sustainable thinking will make them more proud of their project.
We learned that, like for all the architects all around the world, managing a project takes a lot of effort. You should be very involved in what you do, motivated and never let go. We learned how to present and explain our ideas to the clients. Each client is different from the last one, with a different preference. So one of the first task of the designer is to learn as much as possible about his client, discuss with him, see how he lives, what he likes, in order to come up with something as close as possible to his requirements and necessities.
We learn how to listen the clients and help them to make decisions about their projects. Clients are often undecided and that’s normal. They are not professional in the activity and need our advice. We learned how to think more about the materials and select it, Heim office have a huge material library, always completed by the suppliers. It help to make all the designs possible, to try to fit avery materials with others and make the best alliance of materials for a projects. All the materials have to work together, a material highlighting another one and vice versa.
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