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‘Universal House/Particular House’ for DesignTO Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2021

‘The White House’ Drawing series, 2021-2022

Archival photographs from the Martin Family Collection, Baliuag, Bulacan, Philippines, 1950s

Contemporary emplacement demands movement, whether through migration, travel, or exchange of ideas. Identity, as positioned by the postcolonial writer Édouard Glissant, is thus linked fundamentally with change and contact with others. And yet, the loss that these forms of movement demand begs the question of what—in the most ancestral depths of our being—still remains. Within these depths, the idea of home offers a metaphor for grounding. 

The White House is my father's colonial-hybrid ancestral house in Baliuag, The Philippines. The White House tells a story of a dwelling imbricated within both national and nationless histories. I position the site of The White House as a counterpoint to national official history and as the subject of multiple forms of exchange: drawing, writing, analog and digital dissemination.

Through this thesis, I grieve the physical loss of a house from my memory, and its metaphysical loss in the face of emergent site-less hyperculture. Facing these losses, I freely confront the future holding aspects of deep cultural identity that might still resist change.

Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Universal House/Particular House Installation
University of Waterloo M.Arch Thesis
Dezeen Feature
DesignTO Feature - Process