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SWU PHINMA’s Architecture Program aims to develop architects focused on creating intelligent and functional structures that respond to human needs, reflect personal identities and cultural values.

The Architecture Program falls under SWU’s sd+c program, which uses design thinking and storytelling in educating learners how to analyze issues and create truly market-responsive solutions.

SWU PHINMA’s Architecture Program provides learners the following:


Great architectural design solutions respond to human needs.

The program’s thematic curriculum guides learners to design structures that are functional and responsive to pragmatic and intrinsic human needs. Pragmatic needs include the need for designs that facilitate ease of movement, foster comfort, provide security, and mitigation of natural disasters. Intrinsic needs include the need for designs that reflect identities and cultural values.

Exposing and immersing learners to various environments and communities leads learners to gain a deeper understanding of humans. By the end of the program, learners become more perceptive and capable of creating intelligent designs for their future clients.


Analytical and critical thinking skills lead to better understanding of human needs.


Through the program, learners’ critical thinking and analytical skills are honed thoroughly. Learners analyze human needs in order to translate them effectively to architectural designs. Critical thinking also helps learners in addressing existing issues surrounding design and the use of spaces. By the end of the program, learners are able to create valuable spaces in terms of human needs and design principles.

knowledge in global sustainable design practices

Adapting sustainable design practices is important in creating valuable and long-lasting spaces.


Through the program, learners gain better knowledge on the materials and natural resources, as well as global techniques used to build structures that are environment-friendly and disaster-ready. By teaching sustainable practices to learners, they learn to produce environmentally and structurally sound designs that will last through time and the forces of nature.

Rigorous Training in Communications AND Presentation

Intelligent, functional and responsive architectural design achieved by understanding the stories behind it.


Training learners to become good communicators and presenters help them to ask the right questions and make important observations. Eliciting the right responses and making the right observations lead to the creation of designs that are truly responsive and valuable to the client and his stakeholders.

The program also trains learners to develop and present effective and compelling project proposals using the storytelling paradigm. The storytelling paradigm teaches learners to present architectural design solutions as integral to their clients’ stories.

At the end of the program, learners will be able to effectively communicate with clients, and present architectural design solutions not only as projects, but as a fundamental part of their organization and identity.

creative professional learning environment

Learning with the best makes the best architects.


The program guides learners to work on their creative thinking skills in a professional learning environment. Its academic team is composed of locally and internationally-recognized professionals who are active in the field of architecture, and foster creative thinking and doing.

Lecturers act as principal architects. Students are expected to learn by doing through studio classes.

Learners are given a head start in the architectural field through constant creative collaboration with clients and industry leaders. The program opens doors of opportunity to work for respected professionals and firms early on their career.


Individuals who are passionate to create structural designs for a higher purpose can enroll themselves in the program. These are the individuals who view design as a significant contribution to the intrinsic development of humans and communities. They seek to respond to human needs and issues through intelligent, instinctive and responsive architectural designs.

The program is for creative, flexible and imaginable people who want to take on a professional, lucrative, global career in Architecture.

behind the architecture program

The Program’s talented faculty is comprised of respected professionals in the field of Architecture possessing local and global expertise.


Tonette Vasquez – Shawan is SWU PHINMA SD+C’s Dean for Architecture. She is also the CEO and Principal Architect of T. I. Vasquez Architects & Planners Inc. (TVA&P), a major architecture firm with branches in Manila and Cebu. She has 12 years of experience practicing, writing and teaching about Architecture here and overseas.

She held professorial and design critic positions at the University of California – Los Angeles and the De La Salle School of Design & Arts from 2010 to 2015. She was the Chairperson of the Department of Architecture at the Lyceum of the Philippines University from 2015 to 2017. Architect Vasquez – Shawan also wrote articles for BluPrint Magazine, Sense & Style: Homemakers and the Architexture column for Manila Speak online magazine.

She obtained her Professional Master in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2010. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 2007, where she won also won Thesis of the Year. Her thesis also won the World’s Best Thesis Prize at the Archiprix International in 2009.


The Program was built with the support of the following recognized experts in the field of architecture and design, ensuring that the curriculum is responsive to the current demands of the industry based on theories and innovations that dominate the field.


Architect J. Paul Octaviano has over 40 years of experience in designing, planning and managing commercial, industrial and residential projects. He is the owner and principal architect of J. Paul Octaviano & Associates, an architectural firm that designs and constructs government and private projects locally and internationally.

He began his career with Leandro V. Locsin & Associates where he directly collaborated in the design of some of Manila’s iconic structures, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1, Manila Hotel, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and several residential projects.

Architect Octaviano’s work includes a number of international projects as well, namely a 600-bed General Hospital in Abudia, Nigeria, a commercial mall in Okinawa, Japan, a multi-story mixed-used commercial and residential condominium building in Saipan, and a church in Guam.

A very active member of the design-build community, Architect Octaviano served in various architectural organizations. He is the founder of the Architecture Council & Advocacy Philippines (ACAP) and a fellow at the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA). He also held various leadership positions in several organizations, including the Philippine Council for the Architecture Profession, the Architectural Club Inc. (ACCI) and PIA.

He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree, major in Architecture from La Consolacion College in Bacolod in 1973.


Dr. Runddy Ramilo is an APEC and ASEAN architect, and a LEED Accredited Professional with specialization in hospitality design and digital innovation for sustainable design. He has 18 years’ worth of experience in the field. He has worked in the world’s best hospitality design firms in Singapore, including Aedas, Wilson Associates and Designphase Hospitality, where he designed and managed a number of branded hotel and resort projects in Asia Pacific and the Middle East such as Hilton, Shangri-la, Hyatt, Sheraton, Taj, Radisson, Marina Bay Sands, and W Hotels.

Dr. Ramilo is currently the Design Director of International Design Associates (IDA), a boutique design practice specializing in hospitality design based in Singapore with offices in Philippines and representatives in Malaysia.  Aside from design practice, he is active in research and in the academe. He is the Founder of, and Senior Lecturer at, ArcStudio Center for Advanced Architecture & Built Environment and research collaborator at CodeLab, Curtin University Australia and University of Technology Malaysia (UTM). His research works were published in high impact factor refereed international journals and conferences.

He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture at Deakin University Australia and UTM through practice-based research centered on the application of digital technology and sustainable design. As an active practicing architect, he is a member of Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and the Charter President of United Architects of the Philippines-Singapore (UAP).



Urgello Street, Cebu City Philippines 6000

Tel. No.: +63 (32) 416 4680