AN EYE FOR DESIGN
Lifestyle Asia|Volume 1 2021
CYNDI FERNANDEZ BELTRAN on good design, being a leader, and appreciating her surroundings
SARA SIGUION-REYNA

Growing up in a family of doctors, Cyndi Fernandez Beltran always felt that she wanted to pursue a career in the arts. Attracted to the world of design, she shares that she had a knack for transforming spaces by being active in decorating activities at school. “It was only fueled more by being exposed to the beauty of design and architecture that I got to see when we were traveling,” she says.

Beltran earned her bachelor's degree in Interior Design at the University of Santo Tomas. She then continued her education in Design and Management in New York’s Parson's School of Design. She believes that her travels and exposure to different cultures at a young age are what inspired her design aesthetic. “It gave me a sense of universality in my design POV,” she says, adding that her design aesthetic has always been creating interest in things that usually don’t go together.

Juxtaposition is something that she gravitates toward, and she tends to put together elements that exude both contrast and cohesiveness. “It’s all about having the ability and skill to mix different period styles but keeping it modern in a way that is clean, streamlined, and whole,” she explains. As the design director of Moss Design House (under which is Moss Home), a multidisciplinary design firm, she finds herself in all the things she is passionate about.

Television shows make working in the design industry seem like a wholly glamorous endeavor, but Beltran says it's not always the case. “Living and working in the design industry can be tough at times,” she says. “Designers are increasingly perceived as problem solvers so it constantly pushes us to keep innovating and making sure we get to discover new avenues to try to keep things fresh and relevant during changing times.”

One of the biggest challenges in Beltran’s profession is finding new ways to innovate and be original. According to her, commercialism and increasing access to mass-produced pieces make it challenging to sell artisan, bespoke, and well-crafted pieces. “Consumers are now getting more impatient,” she says, frankly. “Most people would rather purchase home items that they can get off-the-rack versus quality custom design pieces that we all know are more costly and takes more time to produce.”

To combat this, she works to change the idea held by many that design is superficial, or something that only serves aesthetics with little to no science or material consciousness. For Beltran, this is far from the truth. “Design is about solving everyday problems and having deep knowledge about how people move, understanding material use and the technicality of building things with little to almost no wastage is becoming more and more important,” she says.

NEW WORLD

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