WHATt comes to your mind when someone mentions “non-linear architecture”? I’m sure you’ll be thinking of a building you saw in your foreign trips or in design magazines and TV documentaries. Perhaps you might even think of space-age and futuristic structures straight from sci-fi movies.

However, non-linear architecture is not as new as you would perceive. It goes way back to some decades ago according to Singapore-based Filipino architect Runddy Ramillo, who works at one of the top architectural firms in the world, Aedas.

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Specializing in hospital design, design computing and management, he says that the practice in Singapore is about “getting things done quickly.”

Architecture there, he adds, “is regarded as one of the well respected professions and is not being overlap by other professions like civil engineers and allied building professions. They are mandated by laws, which are strictly followed.”

Runddy was in Cebu recently for the Nationwide Architecture Week celebration at Parkmall, where he was the resource speaker for a lecture entitled, “Modeling the Nexus between Non-Linear Architecture and Building Performance.”

Coming from a “family of academicians and engineers,” Runddy entered into further studies to professionally-enrich himself more.

After obtaining his degree in Architecture at the National University, he finished his master’s degree in Construction Management, which he considers as an “MBA” for architects, at the University of the East. Now, he’s working for his doctorate in architecture at the School of Architecture and Building of Deakin University in Australia.

He remembers his Dad’s furniture and contracting business in Northern Samar was what drove him to become an architect.

“When I was I kid, I spent most of my free time in our furniture factory and in construction site. Believe it or not, I even knew how to do wood carving, wood turno (lathe) and use different power tools,” he recalls. This architect is apparently an advocate of out-of-the-box design ideas. But will this click with the Filipino “frame of mind” in design and construction?

Does it address the concerns of cost and time? Runddy has this to say: “Underlying with cost and time issues, the current trends in the construction industry is to pre-fabricate its components in the warehouse, logically tag it and bring to site for assembly.

This process saves cost, time and with precise fabrication, it will bring good assembly.” Moreover, he says “the paradigm of design computing and non-linear architecture is relatively new, and my objective is to provide a clearer understanding on the theory, structures and application of digital processes and in return helps architects and designers breeds’ new form of architecture.”

Venturing into this avant garde type of design, he hopes to inspire his Filipino colleagues to go “out-of-the-box” (or “out of a regular line”) with their designs so in the near future “we will see breathtaking and iconic landmarks here in our country that would belong to the likes of Sydney’s Opera House, Singapore’s Esplanade and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest.”

This should help polish the image of the architect to the general public and allow people to appreciate the capabilities of the local architect even more.