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Filipina OFW in UAE among top 30 most influential architects in 2024

Photo courtesy: Christine Espinosa-Erlanda/Instagram

The influence of Filipinos leaves a significant impact wherever they venture. A prime example is Architect Christine Espinosa-Erlanda, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) recognized as one of the top 30 most influential architects in the Middle East this year.

Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda secured the 30th spot in the “Powerlist Influential 30 Architects 2024” by Design Middle East.

Design Middle East chose architects who are at the forefront of transforming the region’s landscape, building skyscrapers, and promoting sustainable development.

Design Middle East wrote: “Christine Espinosa-Erlanda leads by example and is responsible for providing design solutions from concept and schematic up to the detailed design stage.”

“She develops project proposals and design guidelines, assists in client presentations, leads, runs and supervises activities of the project team, and ensures successful delivery and management of projects,” it added.

The role of an influential architect

For Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda, being an influential architect meant improving lives. “An influential architect is more than just a skilled designer; they are visionary leaders who use passion and creativity to make a lasting impact and expertise in shaping a better future for our built environment,” she told The Filipino Times.

Improving people’s lives includes designing and creating spaces to meet end-user needs. Her role as an architect also allows her to influence people by inspiring them and instilling the conviction that architecture can shape a better future for everyone.

As architects on a mission to make the world a better place, Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda said that they must meet the clients’ needs and expectations, which change as time goes by. Although she believes in the traditional Vitruvian principles of strength (firmitas), functionality (utilitas), and beauty (venustas), architects now have more resources to understand the building life cycle and capability of prioritizing “sustainability, economic viability, and user experience.”

“Ultimately, architects should focus and strive to deliver purpose-driven design solutions that embody fundamentals while addressing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” she added.

When asked about her favorite projects, Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda shared that she enjoys working on hospitality and masterplan projects. However, what resonates more deeply with her in each project is the memorable moments she has with other people.

“Every project represents the time, effort, and expertise of different stakeholders,” she said. “I think what resonates deeply are the enduring memories and relationships captured throughout each project journey, where teamwork, collaboration, and shared passion for design are the things I’m most proud of in every project we undertake.”

“At the end of each project, the remarkable structures we bring to life aren’t just physical buildings; they’re the relationships and collaborative bonds formed throughout our journey in each stage of the project we undertake,” she added.

Influential people make influential people

Many people have played a significant role in shaping Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda into the remarkable woman she is today.

“My family holds a place in my heart, influencing my decisions and continually pushing me to learn and grow,” she said.

“My children inspire me; their curiosity and vitality remind me of the importance of nurturing imagination and promoting creativity and innovation in designing the built environment. My husband, a talented architect, is another constant source of inspiration and support,” she added.

Arch. Espinosa-Erlanda continues to impact the world as her story gets featured in various events and outlets. Recently, she was invited to be one of the panelists at The Filipino Times Watchlist: Top Filipino Engineers and Architects Summit 2024.

Camille Quirino

Camille Quirino is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, passionate about sharing the stories of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). She previously contributed to Magic 89.9 and various TV productions and finds fulfillment in crafting compelling narratives that shed light on the experiences of OFWs. Outside of work, Camille enjoys playing the ukulele and meeting new people to hear their stories. She believes everyone has a unique narrative worth sharing and is dedicated to capturing these stories in her writing. Reach Camille at [email protected].

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