10 Questions With The Duo Behind TAYO Architecture and Design

Architects Jaime Recto and Margarita Barcia (Maita) are both graduates of the University of Sto. Tomas College of Architecture, with Maita garnering the best thesis and cum laude. As two young, passionate designers, they wanted to express themselves beyond their eight-to-five jobs. So they started BURP! Designs as a sideline. “We felt that BURP! allowed us to venture into different ideas and was somewhere we could experiment and hone our wildest designs. The small sideline slowly grew and we now do it full time,” shares Jaime.

But as they evolved in their careers, they eventually felt the need to rebrand BURP! Jaime shares that their new brand, TAYO Architecture and Design, encompasses more of what they found as their core values to revolve around which are contextual designs, user oriented and positive architecture.

“We want to come across as collaborative and user-oriented designers that value local context and always strive to give positive designs to the community. At the end of the day we design to give better people a quality of life,” Jaime says.

Know more about the TAYO and the duo behind it.

condoliving architects Jaime Recto and Margarita Barcia TAYO architecture and design

1 | Why did you study interior design/architecture?

Jaime: I was always the creative one in class, getting the art awards and often getting chosen to represent the class for painting and drawing competitions. I would even sell some hand-drawn Pokémon sketches to my classmates haha. The arts was something I always naturally enjoyed. Taking up architecture, it was only a matter of time that I appreciated the higher purpose of using my creative talents which is shaping society for the better.

Maita: The only thing I ever enjoyed when I would play with Barbies and Lego was making their houses. My sister and I would even come up with the weirdest objects to use as furniture: clam shells as accent sofas and tubs, cassette tapes as walls, dominos as modular couches. Later on I discovered 3D Home Design (early ’90s I think) and Sims. I think from a young age I was always curious with spaces.

2 | If you weren’t gonna be an interior designer/architect, what would you be?

Jaime: I would definitely pursue industrial design. I’ve always been curious about objects, how they’re made and how these things affect people’s lives in the most minute details. From gadgets, to furniture, to lighting fixtures, etc. I’m a believer of patronizing one’s own unique craft because mastering them is an art in itself.

Maita: I would either be a production designer or  a fashion designer, still something with built designs and the built environment.

condoliving architects Jaime Recto and Margarita Barcia TAYO architecture and design

3 | What made you decide to start your own firm?

Because we were two young and passionate individuals, we were never contented with our 8-5 jobs and wanted to express ourselves in our own way. We accepted commissions from family and friends and luckily the stream of projects continued to flow. In the past three years of hustling, we were able to establish a set of values and beliefs and took what we learned from our own very diverse corporate and boutique experiences to form TAYO Architecture and Design.

4 | What does TAYO mean?

Tayo is the Tagalog of “us” or “we.” We see design as something that is always built by a team, inclusive to everyone, and accessible. The best designs are collaborative and multi-faceted.

Tayo is also tayó which means “stand.” We want our designs to stand up for values that we believe in and stand up for what is right for both community and client.

condoliving architects Jaime Recto and Margarita Barcia TAYO architecture and design contemporary filipino rental condo

5 What do you want to be known for?

We want to be known for our positive and contextual design that stands up not only for local craft patronage but for societal advocacy as well.

6 | What is your design process?

Each project differs, therefore calls for different steps to achieve a good design. But if there are steps that should not be compromised, it should always involve research on client requirements, their lifestyles, as well as the context and culture for where the design will lie. Once we are able to grasp these, it will be easy for us to come up with something truly unique for the user in the hope of positively bettering their lives.

7| What design style do you resonate to?

We love contemporary and retro-modernist styles but with a touch of Filipino!

condoliving architects Jaime Recto and Margarita Barcia TAYO architecture and design contemporary filipino rental condo

8 | Who’s your design hero?

To name a few: Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingles, Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Rem Koolhas, Oscar Niemeyer.

9 | Where do you get your inspiration?

We are inspired by understanding the new living patterns of clients and users. We are inspired by new ways of thinking and innovative solutions of the architects that we admire instead of their personal styles. Lastly, we are inspired by problem-solving and service.

10 | What’s your ultimate design tip?

Always support the local industry of wherever your project is. We feel that as designers we have the responsibility and capability to shine the light on the local arts scene, allowing growth and progression to the design community. The best designs are contextual, reflect the locations they are in, and serve as inspiration to the community!

Follow TAYO Architecture and Design on Instagram @design.tayo.


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