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Of Blueprints, Dreams, and Success: Shaping the next design leaders for 2022 and beyond

“While playing along the road, as kids used to do back in our days, I found a blueprint along the sidewalk. The drawings captivated my imagination and I knew it was what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

One of the first private residences, designed by Ar. Aguilar in VizualEyes

In the beginning of his career, Eugene Aguilar held a part-time position with an architectural business. Prior to receiving his professional license, he started developing his expertise early on through industrial experience and strengthened it by working for various different companies.

He flew abroad to advance his career once he was competent and had the chance to do so. Later, when he returned home, he continued to teach the next generations, the principles he had learned.

Arch. Aguilar has almost three decades of experience working for design consultancies, building and manufacturing companies in the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This experience has helped him reach the top of the architectural career field.

In addition to his contribution to the field, he also works as a teacher, life coach, adviser, and motivational speaker for non-profits, companies, and professional associations. Ar. Aguilar has held positions as a project manager for Rchitects, Inc., project architect for Aidea, Inc., Assistant Vice President for planning and engineering for PA Properties Development Corporation, and design and planning consultant for Philippine Transmarine Carriers.

One of Aguilar's proudest accomplishments is cultivating the next generation of leaders in the classroom. He stated:

“I have seen some of them practicing and passing their licensure exam. I have always believed that ‘A student will always exceed their teacher,’ and I am happy to help those under my coaching and mentoring reach their level of potential or get them, like myself, on the path leading to it.”

He continued by stating that the majority of the architectural program  is apprenticeship. The modifications to the conventional learning process have made teaching more difficult.

“As it is difficult to ‘fax a handshake,’ the impartation of skills is always at its best when done face to face and not online. Although technology helps to create a conducive atmosphere and environment for learning, getting students inspired remains to be a big challenge. What I try to do with my students in Enderun Colleges is to show them what is possible, what they can achieve and show them development projects that would make them excited to aspire to work on similar projects.”

In fact, leadership is what makes an industry or company successful or unsuccessful, including Ar. Aguilar is committed to using education to give back in the most honourable way possible.

“What is exciting and unique about Enderun's College of Architecture and Design program is its decision to tap design professionals who have been successful in their industry, who are still active in the industry, and who are passionate about teaching. Leaders do not raise followers, leaders raise leaders, and when we gather leaders, we are able to raise up future leaders in the industry”.

Ar. Aguilar and students in an on-site ocular inspection

He continuously instills in his learners the adjustments that the pandemic has brought about. The wisest course of action, in his opinion, entails going back to the fundamentals, planning for the foreseeable future, not only for the present but also for the coming generation.

Ar. Aguilar agrees that design must be flexible enough to change with the times and society. Fitting the various demands of modern living in areas that are getting even smaller as the population density in the city rises rapidly is one of the many issues architects confront today.

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