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Context also means application. This year’s sophomore students re-conceptualised historical street axes in Manila, which modelled after the National Mall in Washington DC, but sadly never realised. The student teams each took on a specific axis and juxtaposed that with an assigned concept plucked from Manila street life – be it jeepney barkers herding commuters to and fro, deep-fried quail eggs being hawked in the streets or newspaper boys milling about the city. “Using the interventions, we hope to spark the district’s renewal, propagate desirable business activity, pedestrian traffic and ultimately end up as a possible urban tourist destination akin to Paris’s business district, Beijing’s Olympic village or Tokyo’s Imperial Palace,” says Javier. In another class, students looked into creating new intermodal transport hub solutions like an efficient international airport, city grand central station or international seaport. It was a new and exciting task for the students, says Yupangco. “Airport design hasn’t been a strong suit for us. Now that we’re going into circulation, mobility is something that we’re exploring.” This fresh take on the profession seems to have struck a chord with Filipino youth. In 2010 applications jumped to over 300 from just 30 in the previous year, prompting the school to put a cap of 160 accepted students each year to maintain quality. With luck, the SDA’s other 13 programmes will undergo a similar renaissance under Yupangco, whose systems implementation plan stretches as far as 2020. “Some of my friends laugh at me and say, ‘Pare, how can you plan that far ahead?’” Yupangco responds with a knowing smile, “I’m an industrial designer, that’s what we’re trained to do.” (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) At Architectural Design 05, mentored by architect Joseph AdG Javier, students Mika Callejo, Nielsen Uy, Carlos Estado, Gienah Guevarra, Chris Dy and Omar Viola, re-imagine the Philippines’ nonexistent intermodal transportation solutions. The mid-course design studio is their barometer for passing or failing the entire course; Urban planners imagined city streets like that of Washington DC’s National Mall or Beijing’s Tian An Men Square, but it all came to naught. Architectural Design 02 students were tasked to imagine a holistic solution for Manila’s major roads today, inspired by the same grand plans but re-contextualised for the future; Architectural Design 02 students combined retail, food and service establishments to create efficient, but pleasing urban density; Designed by architect Ed Calma, the School of Design and Architecture’s classrooms evoke a breaking down of walls with its distorted classroom and exterior walls.

114 Surface Asia


FOCUS / Philippines

1202 SA08-PHILIPPINE-joey yupangco  

Surface Asia- Feb 2012 Philippine focus issue. Selected writings by Carren Jao.