Santillan of Architecture participates at AUN-ADERA inaugural meeting, symposium

UST College of Architecture faculty member Ar. Caryn Paredes-Santillan, Ph.D., represented the University of Santo Tomas at the Inaugural Meeting & Symposium of the ASEAN University Network Architectural Design Education and Research in ASEAN (AUN-ADERA). AUN-ADERA is a Thematic Network of the Asian University Network (AUN) that focuses on the architectural design education and research in Southeast Asia.

The online event was held recently via Zoom and was attended by 21 schools across 10 countries.

The theme of the event was “Modern Heritage Conservation in SEAsia: Education, Design, and Research.” It was organized by the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre of Architecture and Urban Heritage in Asia with the support of the AUN.

The symposium featured Keynote Speakers Prof. Masami Kobayashi of Meiji University (Day 1) and Ar. Teh Joo Heng, Chief Examiner of the Singapore Board of Architects (Day 2). Prof. Kobayashi spoke about “Conserving Kunio Maekawa’s International House in Tokyo, Japan” and Ar. Heng talked about “Conserving Everyday Modern.”

Throughout the two-day symposium, various representatives of the 21 universities shared their curricula and activities geared towards modern built heritage and its preservation. Likewise, there were also discussions on the role of the academe in advocating the importance and awareness of the study and preservation of modern built heritage in the ASEAN region.

Ar. Santillan presented how the study of modern ASEAN architecture is incorporated into the curriculum of UST College of Architecture. She shared that freshmen are exposed early on to analysis and critical thinking through history and theory subjects. In their second year, students are exposed to the development of Philippine Architecture from pre-colonial to contemporary times, while principles of conservation are taught to students in their third year.

Santillan also explained the programs of the UST Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST-CCCPET) of the Graduate School, which is the organizing body of all cultural heritage research concerns at UST. She briefly discussed a holistic approach to the study of modern built heritage, incorporating studies of spatial form and object form and correlating such to socio-cultural studies. She expressed her advocacy for the use of technology and social media apps to promote interest in modern built heritage conservation.

The webpage of AUN-ADERA ( was also launched during the symposium. The event resulted in creating six working groups with the task of developing events for students and professors of AUN within the next two years.

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