The Symposium

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Leapfrog From Disaster   Register Now    Magrehistro Na

Organized and led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA and Leapfrog Project including the American Institute of Architects’ AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) and AIA International,  Leapfrog From Disaster will be held in the Philippines on November 1 – 7, 2014 to bring together world-leading pioneers in Resilience, Architecture, and Ecology.

More people are now living in natural disaster-prone areas resulting from climate change. In 2013, there were 22 million people displaced by natural disasters, as reported and backed by the UN in the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) Global Estimates. “The Philippines experienced the most displacement… with Super Typhoon Haiyan, which was among the strongest such storms ever recorded, displacing 4.1 million people alone — one million more than Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. (via Mashable)” In recent years, studies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicate more than 700 recorded natural disasters globally, affecting more than 450 million people worldwide.

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, Leapfrog From Disaster is a truly radical symposium that will both generate and seed distinctive new built environment solutions to the challenge of natural hazards.

Leapfrog From Disaster will explore new theories for both urban and rural development that may accelerate resilience by moving away from out-dated practices and technologies, to more efficient, more equitable and more sustainable solutions.

Speakers and delegates alike will be challenged to re-invent the post-disaster paradigm, going beyond current aspirations and expectations in post-disaster rehabilitation.


Organize a genuinely collaborative post-disaster rebuilding initiative that utilizes wide-ranging local, national and international expertise, efforts, and resources to help Tacloban and its neighboring cities rebuild with resilience.
Engage different schools of thought from design, science, technology and business, through interdisciplinary discourse and group activities both during and after the symposium.
Birth a new school of architecture-and-design-thinking from the typhoon rebuilding efforts, which may inform future natural hazard resilience programs worldwide.
Develop ecologically-friendly architectural solutions that help protect the rich biodiversity of the region and beyond.


“… Leapfrog Project’s role and potential for the Philippines is staked out, and a unique role for (Filipino) architects defined. (This) symposium will be hugely important as the one year anniversary of the disaster (Haiyan/Yolanda) approaches.”
USA Ambassador (ret) John F. Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society
 “Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was very devastating and horrible. Having witnessed its impacts firsthand and assisted in rebuilding, I saw the tremendous amount of work going on including all the help that’s happening around the world. I’m delighted to hear of the efforts being made toward this symposium. It sounds super special, positive, innovative, and I hope it will go a long way.”
— Billy Dec, The Whitehouse, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
“The symposium sounds awesome. I commend your efforts to help rebuild after the terrible Typhoon Haiyan. Resilience is a major focus area for the AIA (American Institute of Architects).”
Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, 2015 American Institute of Architects President-Elect


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Dr. Christine E. Bruckner, FAIA, HKIUD, LEED AP, BEAM

AIA International Region President, CE Bruckner Principal/Architect/Sustainability Consultant, Calexian Director-Energy Efficiency Solutions, AIA Chairman ICAG/Sec. Int. Region/IPP AIA Hong Kong

Scott Countryman

The Coral Triangle Conservancy Managing Director, The Lifeboat Project

RIBA-USA President, RIBA Overseas Council, The Zoological Lighting Institute Board Director, Zoological Lighting Services Owner, Architectural Association PhD

Jose Emmanuel H. Jalandoni

Ayala Land – Hotels & Resorts President, Ayala Land, Inc. Senior Vice President, Ayala Land, Inc. Capital and Hotels Group Head


RIBA-USA Board Trustee, AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community Advisory Group, AIA Diversity Council, Leapfrog Project Founder, Chief Collaboration Architect at ALLL – Manila/Chicago

Carelle Mangaliag

Communications and Change Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, Certified NLP Trainer, President and CEO of Trainstation Manila/Hong Kong/Singapore, Philippine TV personality/actor/singer

Maria Benita Ochoa-Regala, FUAP, ASEAN

National President FY 2014 – 2015 United Architects of the Philippines

Melissa Sterry

Design Scientist, Futurologist, Writer and Cross Disciplinary Designer developing Bionic City®, PhD Researcher at AVATAR laboratory



Other Speakers include:

Clay W. Epperson – Office Director, Program Resources Management, U.S. Agency for International Development

R. Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP – Redevelopment Project Specialist, District of Columbia Housing Authority and AIA Housing KC Advisory Group

Gina Lopez – Chairman, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

Eva Mari Salvador – Sining Galing Project of Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas

Jose Luis Oquiñena and Daniel Bercasio – Executive Director and Operations Head of Gawad Kalinga

Dave A. Blas – Senior Architect at Ayala Land, Inc.’s Innovation and Design Group






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Earn AIA Continuing Education Learning Units (LU), RIBA Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) Continuing Education hours to fulfill AIA, RIBA, and/or LEED credential maintenance requirements.  Register Now    Magrehistro Na

Dress Code for the entire Symposium: Business Casual

 October 31 – November 3, 2014    Arrival Day – Manila

(Plan to arrive in the Philippines before November 3rd Manila time.) Hotel Check-in. Conference Registration. Meet and Greet. Free time.

November 1 – 2, 2014    Architecture and City Tours

Tour Options: Intramuros Walled City, Makati Business District, Fort Bonifacio Global City, British Embassy Manila, Mind Museum

Manila Tours


November 3 – 5, 2014    Ecological Tour – Palawan, voted ‘top island in the world’ in Conde Nast Traveler awards


Day 1    Departure from Manila. Arrive at Coron/Busuanga Airport. Meet and Greet, then transfer to hotel. Check-in. Free time.

Day 2    Breakfast meeting. Seminar Session. Option of Eco-island tour, Reef and Wrecks tour, or Leapfrog Project site visit (invite only)

Tour Options: Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Dos, Calumbuyan Island, Lusong Coral Garden, Lusong Gunboat

Speaker: The Coral Triangle Conservancy

Day 3    Breakfast meeting. Seminar Session. Hotel check-out. After meeting, free at own leisure till time for transfer to airport for flight back to Manila.


November 5, 2014    Press Conference | Film Screening – Manila

Venue: Cultural Center of the Philippines (Dream Theater/Tanghalang Manuel Conde)

Please plan to arrive on time. All sessions and activities will begin promptly as scheduled.

4 – 4:30 pm    Arrivals/Registration

4:30 – 5:30 pm    Press Conference plus Q&A

5:30 – 7:30  pm    Film Screening of a Biodiversity in Architecture Film, “Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night”

Speaker: James Karl Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD


7:30  pm    Cocktails and light dinner at Traders Hotel right across from CCP (3001 Roxas Blvd, Pasay, 1305 Metro Manila, Philippines)


November 6, 2014    Symposium – Manila

Venue: Cultural Center of the Philippines (Dream Theater/Tanghalang Manuel Conde)

Please plan to arrive on time. All sessions and activities will begin promptly as scheduled.

8:00 am    Registration

9:00 am    Welcome Address : Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, NCARB, CeM, LEED AP BD+C

9:15 am    Opening Address: President of UAP, President of RIBA-USA, President of AIA International

Maria Benita Ochoa-Regala, FUAP, ASEAN

James Karl Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD

Dr. Christine E. Bruckner, FAIA, HKIUD, LEED AP, BEAM

10:00 am    Keynote Speaker 1: Melissa Sterry

11:00 am    Panel Session: Resilience


Carelle Mangaliag – President and CEO of Trainstation Manila

Eva Mari Salvador – Sining Galing Project of Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas

James Karl Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD (Moderator)

12:00 am    Lunch

1:00 pm    Panel Session: The Royal Institute of British Architects-USA (RIBA-USA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) members


R. Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

James Karl Fischer, AIA, RIBA, PhD


Dr. Christine E. Bruckner, FAIA, HKIUD, LEED AP, BEAM (Moderator)

2:00 pm    Breakout Session

4:00 pm    Panel Session: Ecology


Scott Countryman – The Coral Triangle Conservancy Managing Director

Melissa Sterry (Moderator)

5:00 pm    Networking


November 7, 2014    Symposium – Manila

Venue: Cultural Center of the Philippines (Silangan Hall)

Please plan to arrive on time. All sessions and activities will begin promptly as scheduled.

8:00 am    Registration

8:30 am    Special Session: Clay W. Epperson – Office Director, Program Resources Management, U.S. Agency for International Development

9:30 am    Panel Session: Resilience Initiatives


Gina Lopez – Chairman of ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

Dave Blas – Ayala Land Inc., Senior Architect

Daniel Bercasio – Operations Head of Gawad Kalinga

Melissa Sterry (Moderator)

10:30 am    Keynote Speaker 4: Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, NCARB, CeM, LEED AP BD+C

11:30 am    Panel Session: Architecture

R. Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Melissa Sterry


James Karl Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD (Moderator)

12:30 pm    Lunch

1:00 pm    Workshop

Workshop 1: Leapfrog Project (Invite-only)

Workshop 2: General Attendees

5:00 pm    Closing Address: James Karl Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD


November 8, 2014    On-site Construction of Living Ball (Invite Only)

Led by Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C, the Leapfrog Project team will construct and install the first Living Ball intended to generate micro-energy and provide power and light to at least 30 homes of Category 5 typhoon Haiyan survivors. Learn more about the Living Ball here.

Venue: Palawan



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The Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium would not be possible without the generous support of our valued sponsors.



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Symposium Chair    Lira Luis, RIBA, AIA, CeM, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C: Trustee, RIBA-USA Board of Trustees

Local and International Steering Committee

ALLL – Manila

Enrique Otarola: Executive Director, OREM Foundation

James Fischer, RIBA, AIA, PhD: President, RIBA-USA Board of Trustees

Illya Azaroff, AIA: Co-Chair, AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee

Dr. Christine E. Bruckner, FAIA, HKIUD, LEED AP, BEAM

Philippine Sub-Committee

Robert Ziemlak: Orem Foundation, ALLL – Manila Office

Eva Mari Salvador: Arts Education Manager, Cultural Center of the Philippines

Sylvester David Seño, UAP: Chapter President, United Architects of the Philippines (Manila Architects in Government Service)

Contact Us



There are some 700 architects in the USA with professional links to the UK. Over 400 of these are members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA-USA represents the professional, educational and regional interests of the RIBA-USA Chapters and members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) resident in the United States of America. RIBA-USA Inc is a US registered 501(c)(3) tax exempt Non-Profit Corporation. Typically the members have trained at UK recognized schools of architecture. Many are US citizens, while others have become citizens, and live in all the 50 US States. RIBA-USA was founded to respond to their special professional interests and provides an important link between RIBA in London and the bustle of professional life in the US.


About AIA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a US based professional organization, that protects and serves architects and design professionals, monitors legislative issues that impact the public and the profession, to recognize and promote excellence in architectural design, technology and design related issues.

The members of the AIA are individuals who are licensed to practice architecture in the US and are invited to be a part of the leading organization representing the interests of their profession.

The members of the American Institute of Architects create a community to share knowledge and advocate a shared vision to have a positive impact on the direction of the profession, the shape of our neighborhoods, and our world.

            AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction

The Board of the AIA New York chap­ter for­mally estab­lished the DfRR Com­mit­tee on May 17, 2011 and sanc­tioned the com­mit­tee name on June 21, 2011. The mis­sion of the com­mit­tee is to fos­ter aware­ness within the pro­fes­sion and the pub­lic of the neces­sity to antic­i­pate risk from the scale of a build­ing to com­pre­hen­sive regional plan­ning. The committee’s goals are to for­mu­late pro­grams and develop professional-public part­ner­ships that pro­vide a forum for greater risk aware­ness. The sequence from design­ing for risk to mit­i­gate nat­ural and man-made dis­as­ters, dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness, dis­as­ter relief response and recov­ery, and recon­struc­tion will be exam­ined in order to improve the abil­ity of the designed envi­ron­ment to aes­thet­i­cally, func­tion­ally, tech­ni­cally, and eco­nom­i­cally serve and pro­tect the health, safety and wel­fare of its inhabitants.

            AIA International

The AIA International Region, formed in late 2012, is the nineteenth region of the Institute. It encompasses all areas outside of the United States. In terms of membership — at approximately 2,400 — the new AIA International Region is about the same size as nine other regions of the Institute. It is considerably larger than at least three other regions, and it is growing at a time when some others are shrinking. The Offshore Chapters of the American Institute of Architects include AIA United Kingdom, AIA Continental Europe, AIA Hong Kong, AIA Japan, AIA Middle East, and AIA Shanghai.


About the Leapfrog Project   facebook   linkedin   twitter

Leapfrog Project was officially launched during the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and is now deployed to respond to the call of rebuilding. It is a project under the Orem Foundation, a US registered 501(c)(3) tax exempt Non-Profit Corporation.  It rallies a number of local and international partners to collaborate in helping Tacloban and its neighbouring cities rebuild with resilience, to serve as model of post-disaster reconstruction to the rest of the country and perhaps, the world.


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Register Now    Magrehistro Na    Attendance Justification Letter

Registration fee includes round-trip airfare from Manila to Palawan, round-trip airport transfer in Palawan, round-trip land transfer to tour site, round-trip boat transfer, tour entrance fee and permit charges, 7 nights hotel accommodation with daily breakfast, lunch/dinner/receptions throughout the conference, seminar fees, and film screening ticket.

Airfare to the Philippines is not included in registration cost.

Eventbrite - Leapfrog From Disaster - For Philippine Locals

Prior to requesting a Letter of Invitation, you MUST be registered for the Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium as one of the following: Full Symposium attendee, Student or Recent Graduate, Faculty, or Sponsor.



Travel to the Philippines

No visa is necessary for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and the United States, for a stay not exceeding 21 days. Holders of Taiwanese Passports and Hong Kong Certificates of Identity must get a special entry permit. Plan to fly into the Philippines, arriving via Ninoy Aquino International Airport into Manila. Passengers departing the Philippines have to pay a terminal fee (in addition to the Philippine travel tax levied on locals). This fee of $15 (₱550 if paid in Philippine Peso) is paid before entering the immigration and pre-departure. Plan to arrive in the Philippines on or before November 1, 2014.

The Venue: Cultural Center of the Philippines

Address: CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, 1307 Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines


The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is the premiere showcase of the arts in the Philippines. Founded in 1969, the CCP has been producing and presenting music, dance, theater, visual arts, literary, cinematic and design events from the Philippines and all over the world for more than forty years. Designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, it’s a primary example of the architect’s signature style known as the floating volume, a trait can be seen in structures indigenous to the Philippines such as the nipa hut. It houses three performing arts venues, one theater for film screenings, galleries, a museum and the center’s library and archives. Being a work of a National Artist, the brutalist structure is qualified to be an important cultural landmark as stipulated in Republic Act No. 10066. With the Assets Development Program the CCP is poised to redevelop it sixty hectare property as a major cultural and eco-tourism destination in the Asia Pacific region.

Hotel Accommodations

Remington Hotel

A block of rooms are reserved at the following hotels: Resorts World Remington Hotel (Headquarters of the Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium), Heritage Hotel Manila, Microtel – Manila, and Hotel H2O

Resorts World Remington Hotel offers a roundtrip complimentary airport shuttle and an area shuttle, a restaurant, and a casino. It is located at Newport Boulevard,Pasay Airport Area, Pasay City 1309, Metro Manila, Philippines

Manila – Each room is equipped with an LCD TV and access to cable channels. Bathrooms offer rainfall showerheads, bidets, and complimentary toiletries. Guests also enjoy complimentary in-room WiFi, a secured parking area, facilities for the disabled and safety deposit boxes.

Palawan – Fully Air-conditioned Rooms, Private Bath and Toilet, Hot and Cold Shower, Television with Cable Access, Inter-phone Facility, Equipped with Fire Alarm System, Veranda with a Near View of Plunge Pool (selected villas), Resort facilities

Getting Around

Since the Philippines is an archipelago, the easiest way to move between islands is by plane. One can get around the cities by driving (International driving licenses are valid in the Philippines for up to 30 days after arrival), by taxi, by bus, by jeepneys and rickshaws (which are the most known transportation to all Filipinos).

English is an official language of the Philippines and is a compulsory subject in all schools, so it is widely spoken in the larger cities and main tourist areas. However, it is usually not the first language of locals. English, though, is in widespread use as many signs are printed in English.

About the Philippines  (via Lonely Planet)


The Philippines consists of more than 7,000 islands, and at certain times of the year it will feel like you have them all to yourself. The typical island boasts a jungle-clad, mountainous interior and a sandy coastline flanked by aquamarine waters and the requisite coral reef. But you’ll find plenty of variations on this theme, from marooned slicks of sand in the middle of the ocean to sprawling, overpopulated mega-islands like Luzon and Mindanao.

The Philippines isn’t just about finding an isolated beach and getting catatonic. From trekking in the mountains of North Luzon, to getting airborne on a kite board in Boracay, to spelunking in the cave systems of Samar, the Philippines can capably raise any adrenaline junkie’s pulse. Much of the action in the Philippines naturally takes place in and around the water.