“I only use recycled wood for all my projects,” he explained. “I adhere to the principle of ‘build it once, build it right.’ To be able to produce a successful design, the piece has to pass three strict design rules, namely aesthetics, function and structural soundness.”
Reyes added that being observant was another crucial factor when it comes to designing.
“Watching and analyzing how people sit, slouch, or just laze around on chairs and benches can be incorporated in a design that eventually accommodates and supports the end function of a piece,” he said.
Another factor that always weighs into his work is his cultural heritage. All his pieces, for example, have Tagalog names.
“To be proud of one’s heritage develops one to create an unmistakable piece that not only translates to exhibit his skills but disseminates culturally the artist’s and the piece’s origins,” Reyes said.
But it is not only in his home country that Reyes has made a name for himself.
The work he has done on his own house was recently featured in The New York Times.
“ Tahanan [his home] is a testament to the beauty of Philippine woods,” Reyes said. “Not a single tree fell during its construction. The entire house was built of reclaimed wood from demolished houses and bridges.”