4 Reasons to Choose Exposed Pipe Showers

Exposed piped showers are becoming a trend for several reasons. Asides from aesthetics, these showers have functional advantages over their embedded counterparts. Below are some of the benefits exposed shower systems have over embedded showers.

Exposed Shower System from Grohe

Factors to Consider Before Acquiring a Hillside Lot

Logan Hillside Houses by Brian Stansberry

People choose hillside lots for the cool breeze and stunning views. The cold atmosphere is especially desirable in tropical countries such as the Philippines. When picking a hillside lot, it is necessary to determine the lot's inclination before making a decision. Hillside lots either have an uphill or downhill slope, and each has its unique characteristics. Understanding the distinction between the two grades can help you make a better decision when acquiring a rolling lot. It will help you select the ideal lot that is suitable for your needs.


YEAR: 2008

House CD08 was a concept house I made back in 2008. I utilized a split level house design that follows the downhill lot's contour to minimize site alteration. The split level design makes the house look smaller than its actual size.

It has two carports, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a spacious kitchen and dining area. Upon entering the house, an infinity pool greets you. The home features a swimming pool with a fixed glass window that is visible from the inside.

The Home of The Future, How Technology Can Improve Our Homes.

A few weeks ago, I found a mini-series created by The Verge featuring the house of the future, hosted by the late Grant Imahara of Mythbusters. The series explores what our current technology can do to improve the efficiency of our home. There are six episodes in the series, and each focuses on a specific aspect of the house.

The series begins with the building of the house. They use prefabrication to reduce costs and speed up construction. This unconventional construction method has been around for quite some time, but the industry has not yet fully adopted it. The show discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this method.

How Technology Allows Us to Explore Famous Structures

Technology has brought us several ways to explore our world. The advancements in Internet speed over the last decade have allowed us to share an enormous amount of information that was only a dream a few decades ago. Virtual reality is one exciting technology; while it's only in the early stages, the way we view the world has changed. It helped us to explore places in three-dimensional space without leaving the comfort of our home.

Create Fast Architectural Walkthroughs Using 3D Photospheres

3D rendering is one of the tools architects generally use to present designs to their clients. Renderings are two-dimensional representations of a building, and it allows clients to see the structure before construction. The limitation of this method is that clients won't comprehend how space feels even with furniture installed because there is no continuity between the view in front and what's behind it.

4³ - Tiny Farm Staff House

The first design problem given to me back in college was a cube house. We were allowed to solve the problem in any way as long as we were limited to 4 m x 4 m x 4 m. I had no experience designing back then, and I had no background in standards and minimum requirements. I had to research it all within a week, and this during the pre-internet days. I had to do my research in the library and jot down all the information I gather.
Ground Floor


Another method I did to gather data was to measure the spaces in my house, which allowed me to experience the actual dimensions. This experience made me realize the complexity of designing small spaces. I had some difficulty arranging all the essential amenities in the limited area. It took me several schemes before coming up with a design.

Amazing Cebu City Timelapse by Garyl Paras

Timelapse videos are a technique used to compress time by reducing the number of frames per second (fps). The standard video frame rate is 30fps or 60fps. On the other hand, Timelapse shoots video at a significantly lower frame rate that speeds up and reduces the length of the video. This technique produces stunning results and is often used to compress hours and days in a few seconds. Timelapse photography needs patience and discipline to deliver quality results. Unintentional movements, exposure variations, and focus can ruin the final output.

House NA10 - Modern 2 Storey Residential Building

Location: Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City
Year: 2010
Floor Area: 236 sqm.
Lot Area: 1,291.71 sqm.

Located at an interior lot at Barangay Basak San Nicolas, the site was suitable for a residential building. The house is directly accessible to the national road but is far enough that there is hardly any traffic noise entering the house. The initial plans for the project were to retrofit an existing structure into a home. Due to the existing structure's constraints, we presented a proposal that would optimize and maximize space use. 

Unique Solar Artwork by Jordan Mang-Osan

Artists express their art through a wide variety of mediums. In my previous post, I covered several artists who use unique mediums for their artwork. There are a few artists who can make art from unconventional materials. Some choose these unusual mediums for experimentation, while some use these materials because of the availability.

I found a documentary about a talented Filipino artist a few years ago. He creates art using a Pyrography technique, which is the art of decorating wood by controlled burning, creating beautiful patterns or portraits. What makes his style unique is that he harnesses the sun's heat, using a magnifying lens, onto a piece of wood to create beautiful masterpieces.

Can a Smartphone Camera Outperform an Old DSLR?

Huawei P30 vs Olympus E30 + Zuiko 14-54mm & 9-18mm

Smartphone cameras have seen dramatic improvements over the last few years, with image quality and low light performance way ahead of what cameras offered a few years ago. The image quality of current smartphones is adequate for casual photographers, and even entry-level phones have decent image quality.

Capable of taking high image quality in low light, I decided to replace my phone with a Huawei P30 last year. Since the bulk of my shots are taken indoors or in low light, a camera's low light performance is essential to me. I also needed a backup camera if I left my camera at home and needed to take a photo.

Since purchasing my phone back in December, I noticed that I seldom use my camera anymore. The quality of the photos I take from my phone is decent enough that I no longer need to use my camera. The only time I bring out my camera is when I need a shot that requires a shallow depth of field. 

The LCD of my main camera malfunction a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't decided if I should buy a new one. Impressed with my phone's performance, I am now having second thoughts about buying a new camera body. So I decided to test and compare how the image quality of my Huawei P30 compares to my 11-year-old Olympus E30 DSLR, which will help me decide whether or not I should buy a new camera.

The Olympus E30 has a 12-megapixel sensor and was released back in 2009. The lenses used are the Zuiko 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 (28-108mm equivalent) and Zuiko 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 (18-36mm equivalent). The E30 needs both lenses to match the Huawei P30's range. The Huawei P30, on the other hand, was released back in 2019, and it has a 40-megapixel f1.8 27mm primary camera, an 8-megapixel f2.4 80mm telephoto camera, and a 16-megapixel 17mm ultra-wide camera.

Online Tools to Help Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing great articles is a skill that was never one of my strengths. Even though I love to share my ideas, I always struggle to convey my thoughts. Although I have a fundamental understanding of English, I find it difficult to arrange my thoughts. I find it hard to put words and sentences, and I have a little background in making complex sentences. I also tend to have grammatical errors, and despite knowing my weaknesses, I hardly read my articles.

That's why I've been using online tools to help me with my work and blog posts. These tools have greatly improved the way I create and structure my writing. I've been reviewing my past articles since the beginning of the quarantine. Now, I appreciate the importance of creating readable articles. It's a challenge to get your message across if readers don't understand what you're saying. 

My articles may not be equivalent to a skilled writer, but it is an improvement compared to my previous output. These are the tools that I am currently using, and as a result, my grammar and vocabulary have improved.




Grammarly offers a free version that checks grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary. It has an integrated thesaurus that provides alternative synonyms that would fit your sentence better. Grammarly also alerts users to intricate text, misplaced words or phrases, word choice, incomplete sentences, monotonous sentences, and passive voice misuse.

The free version only provides notice of these issues. To remove these flaws, users need to correct the sentences manually. On the other hand, the premium version notifies which sentences need corrections and gives better options to fix these issues. 

House AS08 - Second Floor House Extension

Location: Tisa, Cebu City
Year: 2008
Floor Area: 230 sqm.
Lot Area: 246 sqm.

The project is for a renovation of an existing single-story residential building. The client wanted to retain the existing structure and build an extension on the second floor.

The ground floor's exterior walls remained the same, but we removed some of the interior partitions to accommodate the stairs. To make the ground floor spacious, we opted for an open floor plan and sliding glass doors that opens to the garage. The garage also serves as an extension of the dining and living room area.

To maximize usable space, we laid out the second-floor rooms around the family room. A shared bathroom serves the three bedrooms on the upper ground, while the master bedroom has a separate master bathroom.

5 Unique Shape Shifting Furniture

The interior design of a building is only as good as the furniture that fills it. Placing unique and interesting furniture in an area enhances the interior. This unique furniture sometimes becomes the focal point of a space.

I have always been fond of one-of-a-kind furniture pieces. I like furniture that is simple, sleek, and multifunctional. I also like furniture that is space-saving or can be tucked away and remain unobtrusive.

 Some of the fascinating furniture pieces I found are works of art. There is also furniture that involves highly technical skills. These are the furniture that has a lot of highly accurate moving parts.

Due to the skills needed to create these unique pieces, these usually cost higher than regular furniture. If the budget is not a concern, then I would recommend these to my clients. 

1. Designed By Sebastian ErraZuriz

2. Designed By Robert Van Embricqs

3. The Ollie Chair Designed by RockPaperRobot

4. Manet Easy Chair Designed by Best Before 2065

5. Kenchikukagu

Documentaries on Frank Lloyd Wright his Life, Works and Legacy

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the architects who got me interested in architecture. My interest in architecture began when I saw the Solomon Guggenheim Museum from a chase scene in Men in Black.

After watching the movie, I did some research on the house. I found out that Architect Frank Lloyd Wright-designed the building in the late fifties. Given that the building was 24 years older than me, it looked like it was only newly built. It looked new compared to most of the buildings in Cebu back then.

Maximize Space with These 7 Efficient Stair Designs

Stairs are an integral part of a multi-level structure. We use it to gain access to different floors of a building. The downside with stairs is that it occupies a lot of space. Space has become scarce in urban areas, and designers are trying to find ways to optimize the use of every inch of space. Below are some of the clever stair design solutions that maximize the use of space.

 1. 1m2 Stairs Eastairs

Designed by Eastairs, it is a metal spiral staircase that occupies 1 square meter. The stairs are prefabricated and assembled on site. It has a sleek design reminiscent of modern sculpture.

2.Zoku's Retractable Stair Design

One of Zoku's key designs is the retractable stairs that tuck away inside the cabinets. This ingenious design hides the stairs away when unused, freeing more valuable space inside the tiny area. 

House HFMA11 - Three Storey Dormitory and Residential Building

Location: Banilad, Mandaue City, Cebu
Year: 2011
Floor Area: 540 sqm.
Lot Area: 585 sqm.

House MKA11 is a renovation for a two-storey residential building. The site had 585 square meters, and the building only occupied half of the lot area. 

The client initially hired me to design the interior of the building. The client's original plan was to use the ground floor as his residence and utilize the second floor as an office for his outsourcing company.

15 Tadao Ando Museum Projects worth Checking

Tadao Ando is a self-taught Japanese architect who won the Pritzker Prize in 1995. He creates beautiful structures using exposed precast concrete and highlights this material's beauty in most of his projects. He uses complex circulation spaces, yet most of his projects are sleek and straightforward. 

The use of natural light through skylights and light wells are typical among his works. Tadao Ando uses natural light to enhance the interior space. He uses it to create dramatic transitions and contrast in his spaces. 

His works complement the site. He uses well designed landscaped spaces to complement the structures he designs. Tadao Ando has designed several museums, and each one of them is unique.  

His museums are exceptionally designed. People visit his museums not just for the art but for the building itself. Below are 15 of Tadao Ando's museum projects. 

1. Kumamoto Prefectural Ancient Burial Mound Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (1992)

Completed in April 1992, zenpokoenfun was the basis of the design of the museum. Zenpokoenfun is a large keyhole-shaped tomb mount.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Satisfying AMSR Videos That Relaxes Your Brain

There is something about watching looping videos that relaxes our minds. It can be videos of mundane things repeated several times or weird, surreal looped videos. Looped videos have this unique effect on our minds. It makes our minds want to watch more and see something different might happen.


Micro Compact Home: An Efficient Use of Space

Tiny living spaces have always been of interest to me. It always astounds me how a well-designed small space can still offer comfort to the user. There is one project that is an excellent example of the quality of tiny homes. The Micro Compact Home (m-ch), designed by Richard Horden, has introduced me to well-designed tiny homes. 
The project led by Architect Richard Horden was a collaboration between student teams at the Technical University, TIT Tokyo, and Haak and Hopfner Architects. The team designed in 2005 for short stay accommodation for students and business use. 

7 Fast and East Steps to Color Correct Photos in Photoshop

Learning how to color correct your is crucial if you want your photos to look good. In-camera white balance is accurate most of the time. Cameras have a hard time determining proper white balance when there are multiple light sources with different colors. The camera will have a hard time picking which color to pick if there are two or more light colors within the picture. 

Permeable Concrete a Solution to Flooding Problems in our Cities.

The rainy season is about to start, and with it comes flooding. Flooding is a significant problem in a lot of cities in the Philippines. Trash accumulation in the drainage system is one of the root causes of flooding. 

Another cause for flooding is the growing number of impervious layers in most cities. Most of the ground in developed areas is impervious materials. Runoff increases as we develop more areas of our environment. Lesser water infiltrates the soil.

Interior NREL13 - Office Interior


Located on the second floor of a commercial building in Mandaue City, the project has a floor area of approximately 130 square meters. The project was a redesign of an existing office. It had existing concrete walls and a movable partition.  

We had to remove everything except for most of the concrete partitions. The wanted a bright and open interior. The space requirements were an open space for the office staff. A separate office for the manager and supervisor. A repair room and storage area. A soundproof conference room and an office pantry with ample seating space. 

16 Must Watch Design Shows about Architecture

1. Grand Designs

Grand Designs is a British television series produced by Boundless and broadcast on Channel 4 which features unusual and often elaborate architectural homebuilding projects.

The program has been presented by Kevin McCloud since it first aired in April 1999, and more than 200 episodes have been broadcast in twenty series.

Grand Designs New Zealand is a New Zealand television series on TV3. It is based on the British television series Grand Designs, and it is presented by the architect Chris Moller. It began airing in New Zealand on 4 October 2015

Vray Tips: How to Improve Rendering in Vray Frame Buffer

Default Render Output
Original Render Output

Proper scene exposure is a problem most beginners encounter in Vray. Back when I started learning Vray, my workflow was long and tedious. I did all my exposure corrections manually. If I have an underexposed image, I make changes to the physical camera parameters. I render the scene again and examine the output for proper exposure. It always took me several tries before I get the appropriate exposure.

I've always relied on post-processing to improve the dynamic range of my rendering. Wide dynamic range scenes happen when there is a wide gap between the dark and light areas of a scene, usually in interior scenes, when the outside is visible from the inside. Interior scenes facing windows or sliding doors exposed to sunlight are the typical wide dynamic range scenes.

8 Bed Options to Maximize a Small Apartment

If your space is small, you must maximize the use of all your space. The bed is one of the biggest pieces of furniture in your home. The bed is one of the pieces of furniture you can optimize to serve multiple functions.

Furniture is dependent on the function of a particular area, and most of the time, these functions are not used simultaneously. You can optimize your bed by overlapping other tasks in the same place.

There are several ways to make your space multifunctional through your bed. Each bed design provides various solutions for particular problems.

Use The Vertical Space Above The Bed

1. Loft Beds

Loft Bed by Colin
Utilizing vertical space is essential when space is limited. One of the simplest ways to use vertical space is to add a usable space on top. Loft beds provide users with the flexibility of using the bottom area for a different function. Use the bottom area as an office, entertainment area, or closet space.

Loft beds are affordable and straightforward solutions to maximizing space. The simplicity of the design is applicable in most small areas. A carpenter or welder can quickly build it. It is available in a lot of furniture stores. Loft beds are movable and easy to transfer to a separate area, and they can simultaneously use the functions.

The sleeping area is independent of the bottom area. Access to your bed is not easy. Due to the height of the bed, it is not safe for very young or old users. Low ceiling areas can't use loft beds.

2. Elevator Bed

Another method to utilize vertical space is by using Elevator Beds. Elevator beds provide two various functions on the same spot. Raising the bed to the ceiling allows the use of the area below. Elevator beds are an excellent option to hide a bed out of sight. 

It takes time to set up and set aside the bed. This option is complicated and requires specific hardware, and installation is more complicated, resulting in improper installation. The motor can malfunction and leave the bed stuck. Installation areas for this bed are limited and need to be anchored to a structural component to support the load. 

Convertible Beds

3. Convertible Sofa Bunk Bed

Doc Sofa Bunk Bed by Bonbon

Unique Small Apartments

One of the projects that started my interest in small interiors was the Swiss Army Knife. This project was designed by architect Robert Garneau. He introduced a range of clever design solutions that maximizes small interior.

Swiss Army Knife

Architect Robert Garneau used multi-functionality to maximize the available space. The use of an adjustable dining table that doubles as a kitchen counter. A sofa that can be rearranged into a bed. These solutions combined. This design allowed the architect to combine two areas into a single space.