Hannah Acab Faustino: Designing Spaces, Molding Minds

Whether it’s working on design projects or educating a new breed of aspiring designers, the principal designer of IDeal Interior Design Services tackles both roles with full-on passion. By Kathleen Valle

With her own firm, Ideal Interior Design Services, Hannah Acab Faustino and her team gets to shape designs that nurture and spaces that grow to enhance the well-being of the users of the space.

When you meet interior designer Hannah Faustino for the first time, you can’t help but be struck by her calm demeanor. This mom of two juggles her design projects and her teaching load on any given day, yet you wouldn’t know how much she has on her plate just by looking at her.

Design philosophy

Hannah grew up fascinated with the arts—drawing, painting, creating something wonderful with her hands. She even managed to sell some of her works as a child.

It didn’t come as much as a surprise that her college degree was one that leaned toward the arts. Upon her sister’s suggestion, she ended up taking Interior Design at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Hannah felt cut out for the job: “I love how the discipline merges both technical and artistic skills,” she says.

Her interest in bridging inside and outside through design eventually led her to projects oriented around anthroposophy (a system established by Rudolf Steiner that uses mainly natural means to optimize physical and mental health and well-being).

“Nowadays we are bombarded with issues surrounding mental illnesses brought about by stressors, unhealthy lifestyle and poor practices,” Hannah explains. “Through strategies in Interior Design, well-being and quality living can be achieved.

Hannah Acab Faustino

“This, until now, is something that I constantly strive for in the projects that I do,” Hannah says. Is it possible that her belief in this design philosophy also explains how she always manages to look unruffled and put-together?

From philosophy to practice

Shortly after graduating cum laude from college, Hannah took the licensure exam for Interior Design and placed third. She initially wanted to try her hand at visual merchandising, which led her to work in the related field of marketing.

Her exposure in marketing, interior design, and anthroposophy paved the way to her philosophy: “To create spaces that nurture and nourish one’s soul and spirit; to bring deeper meaning and impact for end users in their experience of various types of spaces,” she explains.

Hannah went on to work for other designers before establishing her own firm, Ideal Interior Design Services. Their work shapes designs that nurture, spaces that grow and environments that complement and enhance the well-being of the users of the space.

Hannah always feels the happiest with residential and condominium projects: “I enjoy collaborating and building relationships with my clients. Also, there is no strict rule, no cookie cutter template. I believe in the uniqueness of the DNA of every project that I undertake.”

Life in the academe

Though Hannah feels blessed enough to be given the chance to practice her design philosophy on projects under her own firm, she felt drawn to extending her knowledge to a wider sphere: teaching Interior Design students at the same institution that molded her.

Hannah handles a variety of courses: design presentation, design history, project management, and research, to name a few.

“Of the pieces of advice that I share to my students, I guess it is never to look at a space in orthographic view and be stuck in the drawing board,” Hannah relates. “Many times, students have difficulty planning out spaces and prioritizing the functions in spaces. So it’s often that you find them designing ‘Top view’ or ‘Bird’s eye view.’ They would hear me say that they aren’t birds, and they must plan the spaces imagining that they are inside and experiencing the spaces that they are designing. They must understand that spaces are multi-dimensional, and the design process is never just lateral.”

Being an interior designer and educator at the same time is not an easy feat, Hannah admits, but it just goes to show how multi-dimensional she is as a person—and how handling both enables her to grow and develop in all directions.

Be able to show your own take on design in your own condo. Visit any Avida Land showroom to see which development you’d like to call your home.