Edson Cabalfin established Talyer Kayumanggi in 1990 as a creative outlet while being in high school. The studio later became the platform by which Edson explored design in various media while he was studying architecture in college. Envisioned to be a multi-disciplinary practice, Talyer Kayumanggi (Filipino phrase literally translated as "Brown Workshop") since then has covered diverse design projects in the last twenty two years including architecture, interiors, graphic design, fashion design, costume, scenography, art direction, branding and design research. Although the projects were primarily based in Manila during the early years of the workshop's existence, the studio was later engaged in projects in
New York, Ithaca, Cincinnati, Philadelphia in the United States, Avignon in France, and Istanbul in Turkey. The studio offers comprehensive design services that crosses disciplinary boundaries and media. The design philosophy of Brown Workshop follows ideas from the Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus, and in particular the idea of gesamtkuntswerk or the total and complete artwork. The studio believes that design should not simply be regarded as the final object borne from one factor, but rather espouses the idea that design as a creative process resulting from multiple perspectives, contexts, elements, and meanings.
Even at an early age Edson Cabalfin was already interested in art and drawing. But his passion for art was also coupled with an interest in the sciences having been raised by parents who were nuclear scientists and educators by profession. He received his professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture (cum laude) and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of the Philippines in 1996 and 200 I respectively. He later received a Fulbright Fellowship from 200 I to 2003 which allowed him to pursue further studies in the United States. He received his Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati in 2003. Edson later received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in
History of Architecture (Minors in Historic Preservation and Southeast Asian Studies) from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 2012. His research has mostly focused on the socio-cultural dynamics of the built environment with special focus on issues such as colonialism/post-colonialism and nationalism in architecture, gender and sexuality in architecture and design, cross-cultural encounters, and power dynamics in architecture. He has published his research in various peer-reviewed journals and book anthologies as well as presented papers in various conferences and disseminated his ideas through exhibitions and lectures.
A licensed architect in the Philippines, Edson has also worked professionally for different design firms and offices in the last fifteen years. After graduating in 1996, he had worked for D.A. Silvestre + Associates in Quezon City. Edson joined Cadiz International, an international design consultancy based in Dubai and Manila from 2007 to 2009. As Senior Design Architect for Cadiz International, Edson was responsible for projects in Dubai and Ras al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates, Penang in Malaysia, Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia, Tbilisi in Georgia, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Esfahan in Iran, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, Cebu, Laguna and Manila in the Philippines. Together with his freelance design work, Edson's design experience have spanned
various continents and diverse design typologies and scales in the last twenty two years. Aside from design and research, teaching remains to be another passion for Edson. He has previously taught at Cornell University in the U.S., University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University- College of Saint Benilde in the Philippines. Edson is currently Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati in the United States.