November 28, 2010
By Sherry Tenorio
Armed with a strong global design perspective and commendable professionalism, Architect Medardo Cadiz led his firm to almost four decades of continued international success. His perceptive strategies have been shaped by experiences gained in the 80s construction bubble in the United States (US), the late 90s Asian crisis and the recent global economic downturn. In an exclusive interview with Illustrado, he reveals deep-rooted discipline and practical philosophies that allowed him to break foreign ground.
The Cadiz family moved to the US in the wake of Martial Law. The shift, however, did not come difficult to Medardo, who lived in the US as an exchange student in 1969, two years before the family settled in Michigan. He recalls, “The move was a turning point that defined what I wanted to do in the future. In the Philippines, it was difficult to learn the art of being independent. In the US, I learned to do everything on my own.”
After securing an Architecture degree from the University of Michigan, Medardo worked in various firms across the US. His global exposure started when he joined the renowned Design International – where his first international assignment took him to Jakarta. It was then that he realized the importance of having a global perspective. He also saw the opportunity in retail planning and the growing niche in mixed-use developments, for which there was a lot of demand in Asia and the Middle East.
His subsequent decision to focus on Asia was a perceptive move since the states was already suffering from slowdown. So, using his more than ten years of global practice and his new found expertise, Medardo established Cadiz International in Singapore.
Cadiz describes his company as “a boutique design firm that only deals with concepts, which come at the forefront of every design.” He explains, “In every project, we prepare and generate a lot of different designs that will be the basis for the local architects. We tell the story, we conceive the idea – how it will all look, how it will all work with the community – and for us to make a good job we have to make a lot of research. We visit the place learn the culture the people, its politics, and, most of all, the market fundamentals. We talk to real estate agents, researchers, and work with people to understand the demographics and how the market will evolve in the years to come.”
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