Welcome to Oliver Aguilar's Design Page!
My humble beginnings as a Philippine immigrant helped set the stage for a lifelong pursuit of excellence in the world of interior design, architecture, and art. In my early years, I couldn't stand my bedroom. I asked my Mom if I could transform my childhood space into a place I'd love. I didn't have much to work with: Kelly green shag carpeting, rainbow colored walls, and a few dollars in my piggy bank...Yikes! I intuitively knew that I didn't want that! Not knowing how to proceed as a 12 year old with a meager budget, I knew that paint could change everything. So I repainted the custom millwork and walls in my room, painting an understated but clean coat of white paint. My comic books, toys, and super hero posters became the primary colors against the fresh white background. I loved it, because the colors were awesome and it was my first early reflection of the Ollie style.
Uncertain about my career choice, I studied accounting for four years at Michigan State University. But there remained in me a passion for design that wasn't being quenched by crunching numbers all day. I took a leap of faith and switched majors to interior design, obtaining my degree in interior design also at MSU! Shortly after turning the tassel for my first degree, I pursued an achitectural degree at Lawrence Tech University. During this time, I landed my first design job. Since then, I have worked for a number of excellent architectural and design firms in the Detroit and Chicago areas.
My professional world is integrally connected with my passion for art. As an undergraduate, I began throwing out my cheap Picasso, Chagall, and Matisse posters (yes, I actually had these posters up in my dormroom!) and replacing them with original work done by my floormates and peers. Soon after, at my first architectural firm, I was exposed to homes of serious art collectors, opening up an exciting new world for me. This began a lifelong pursuit of art of which I'm deeply passionate. Over time, my collection grew to include pieces from artists including Cindy Sherman, Fang Lijun, Mario Di Rivera, Huang Yan, as well as from local artists.
Like so many others, I became unemployed when the market bottomed out in 2008. Between submitting resumes, I began documenting my experiences through photography. I rediscovered a hobby which became a new voice for me. My eye for art collecting began to be reflected through my photographs I was taking, attempting to tell a story with each image I shot. My images were of friends going through the recession, influenced by FSA photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Gordon Parks.
Today, I find creative expression for my work through employment at Interior Architects in Chicago. I also have a blast documenting people's lives and events through photography, at Oliver B. Aguilar Photography.
I hope that this site will catalog my design history and current happenings that reflect the Ollie Style. Enjoy the site, and watch for frequent website and blog updates and events!