The Research Program of the University of the Philippines College of Architecture (UPCA), in cooperation with the National Engineering Center, organized a training workshop for UPCA Faculty and REPS on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) using the free software, Quantum GIS or QGIS. The three-day workshop was held last September 15 and 29 and October 6, 2014 (Mondays) at the Board Room of UPCA. The resource person was Prof. Julius Bañgate from the Geodetic Engineering Department of the UP College of Engineering. The workshop was designed especially for UPCA Faculty and REPS to give a fast and basic introduction to GIS, with lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises to develop skill in using GIS software.
The aim of this training workshop is to prepare and familiarize the UPCA Faculty and REPS with the GIS system prior to the target purchasing of software by the College for academic use. The said software is envisioned to be used in establishing a digital mapping database of existing sites and structures, works done by the students in various courses (Architecture and Landscape Architecture) that include thesis works, as well as researches, creative works and extension services done by UPCA Faculty and REPS. The database may serve as digital source of information for future projects, studies and endeavors of the College community (faculty, REPS, and students).
The first day was allotted for a good and concise introduction to GIS, including the definition, components and applications. Also included in the morning lecture are spatial data models and GIS workflows, as well as the introduction to the software QGIS. Hands-on exercises in the afternoon include QGIS user interface basics, creating base map through registration and georeferencing of a scanned map, creating vector data, and adding or editing attributes.
The second day focused on attribute data, vector GIS datasets and related analysis tools. A lecture on GIS analysis had been given in the morning, with the remainder of the day allotted for the workshop. Exercises included digitizing features from satellite imagery, working with attribute data, creating heatmaps and interpolating points, geoprocessing tools, and site selection based on criteria.
The last day of the workshop included discussions on raster data processing and terrain analysis with GIS. Laboratory exercises were focused on working with raster data (loading, clipping and extracting contours, raster to vector conversion), raster analysis (raster calculator), terrain modeling (hillshade, slope, aspect), and creating analysis map layouts. Before the end of the workshop, the participants were requested to give their feedback on the training sessions through evaluation forms.
Overall, the workshop was a success as shown in the appreciation given by the participants to the organizers and Prof. Bañgate for the meaningful lectures and hands-on exercises. The rate of attendance per session was still high despite the changes in schedules of the workshop due to funding issues at the start, as well as training sessions coinciding with the suspensions of classes and work caused by typhoon (first day of workshop) and holiday (final day). Towards the end of the workshop, some of the participants had already contributed to the free online database of the Open Street Map. Also, others were able to apply the skills that they have learned from the workshop to their current academic-related projects afterwards.
The 2014 Inter-University Seminar on Asian Megacities (IUSAM) was held last August 27 to 30, 2014 at Hanyang University in the capital city of Seoul, South Korea. The event was co-hosted by the Department of Urban Planning & Engineering and Graduate School of Urban Studies of Hanyang University, as well as the Seoul National University Mixed Use Complex Development Research Centre.
The UP College of Architecture (UPCA) has been actively participating in this annual event since 1999. The 19th edition of this annual gathering of academicians and researchers from different parts of Asia was, by far, the most attended conference since the first one was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1996. The general theme of the 2014 IUSAM was “Smart Urbanism for Asian Megacities”, with focus on planning strategies for smart urbanism that are able to address diverse challenges by conventional urbanism.
The seminar was attended by faculty members, students and representatives from various universities and research institutes in Asia. The UPCA delegation has the most number of representatives (25 participants of 12 faculty members and 13 graduate & undergraduate students) from all of the schools represented in the seminar. More than 100 participants came from the following institutions in Asia and from other parts of the world: Hanyang University, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Kyonggi University, Mokwon University, and Korea Land & Housing Corporation in Korea; Keio University, Chuo University, Kyoto University of Art & Design, Ritsumeikan Asian Pacific University, Fuji Women’s University, and National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Japan; The Chinese University of Hongkong, Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University, Tianjin University, and Tongji University in China; Pacific National University in Russia; Universite de Bourgogne in France; Georgia Institute of Technology and Sino-US Eco Urban Laboratory in United States of America.
Out of the 25 attendees from UPCA, 13 participants presented their papers in the conference. Five faculty members were also assigned as moderators for some of the sessions, while five participants attended the conference as observers. A total of eleven (11) papers were presented by delegates from UPCA – an increase in number of paper presentations from the previous 2 conferences (6 paper presentations in 2013 and 5 papers presented in 2012) – with various topics related to smart urbanism.
SESSION A: URBAN PLANNING AND SMART URBANISM
SESSION B: ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN
SESSION C: URBAN ENVIRONMENT AND ECOSYSTEM
Several UPCA professors were also tapped to serve as moderators in some of the sessions. Questions and reactions from delegates of other participating schools were raised for each presentation from UPCA, promoting a healthy discussion and exchange of knowledge and ideas between universities. Participants from UPCA also took part in the open forum for presentations of delegates from other schools and universities in Asia. Fellowship dinners with cultural performances of delegates from various countries were also held right after the conference proper.
The last day of the conference featured technical tours of various places in Seoul for delegates. One group visited the historical areas of the capital city while another group went to the new towns at the southern part of the city. The Traditional Place Tour passed through the heritage areas of Gwanghwamun Square, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon-Hanok Village, and Insa-dong Street Market, while the other group visited the new town developments of Pangyo and Alphadom City, as well as a traditional market in Seongnam.
Overall, the experiences of the delegates and participants for the entire conference were fruitful. In addition, the transfer of information and technology between universities and between senior members of the academe and younger generation of researchers, educators and students, as well as the nurture of research within the participating universities, were successfully achieved for this conference.
The 20th edition of Inter-University Seminar on Asian Megacities will be held in Manila next year, as Dean Mary Ann Espina offered hosting the said event. She vowed to surpass, if not of equal, the success of the recent IUSAM hosted by Hanyang University.
Dr. Grace C. Ramos was the editor-in-chief of Muhon volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4. As she steps down from her post (to be replaced by Dr. Nappy Navarra), she shares the story of how Muhon started, the challenges of cultivating the culture of research in a design centered field, and her hopes for future Muhon issues.
Q: How did Muhon start?
GCR: (In) 1998, when I assumed the position of college secretary, this was one of the flagship projects of the C. P. Espina administration because during that time, the UP administration was already promoting the “publish or perish” slogan. Because even that early, we were already after internationalization and UP Architecture was among the colleges with no venues for disseminating—formally disseminating— research output. We were always branded by the rest of the university as a group of faculty that do not engage in any form of research so we had to prove or show that even while designing, we’re creating new bodies of knowledge that are worthy of sharing to the academic community. The word “Muhon” was suggested by Professor Edson Cabalfin. I think it was the title of a travelling exhibit organized by Gerard Lico at that time. So, that’s it.
Q: Who were your first editorial staff?
GCR: The CEB (College Executive Board) then.
Q: What were the challenges that you have encountered during your term as editor-in-chief?
GCR: It’s not easy for architects or landscape architects to write. We talk a lot during meetings, but (it is) difficult to put our thoughts in black and white. Wala masyadong motivation. It was not that attractive to sit down and really devote some time out of your practice. People would rather work on professional projects.
Q: What do you usually look for in papers before you decide to publish them in Muhon? Do you accept based on the topic first, or do you look at the depth of the research?
GCR: As long as it adheres to the basic principle of research—very methodical processes. You don’t just end with a conclusion that’s based on nothing. It has to be supported by a very systematic process of analyzing data based on the generally accepted rules.
Q: Now that you have turned over your position as editor-in-chief, what are your hopes for future Muhon issues?
GCR: That we really develop the culture of research. It should come up naturally. Walang pilitan. People should naturally want to discover things, organize knowledge, be very inquisitive, be very curious and be eager to share knowledge to other people not just to the architecture or landscape architecture community.
The faculty members, students and staff of the UP College of Architecture are encouraged or invited to participate in various local and international conferences related to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and the allied arts to promote the "culture of research" in the College. Listed below are upcoming conferences in the Philippines and all around the world (as compiled by UPCA Research Program):
Source - http://www.allconferencealert.com/
The Batad terraces is part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, situated in the province of Ifugao in the northern part of Luzon. In 1995, the protected area of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras was added to the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (UNESCO, 2014). It is the first agricultural site to be included in the list (Gullino & Larcher, 2013). The site was included in the World Heritage List because it complied with three of the six selection criteria under culture namely
i. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
ii. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
iii. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change (UNESCO, 2014)
The criteria above indicate the cultural relevance of the terraces. For more than 2000 years, the people of Ifugao have shaped and tilled the land to make an otherwise unsuitable site fit for agriculture. They have instilled laws and established practices on how to plant, manage, and sustain the terraces and its surroundings which have helped it remain unchanged before the influence of colonization in the late 1940’s (Klock, 1995).
The site is composed of five terrace clusters namely the Nagacadan, Hungduan, Mayoyao, Bangaan, and Batad terrace clusters (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2014). Batad is a tourist favourite among the five clusters. Part of its appeal is due to the amphitheatre-like appearance of its terraces that end with a cluster of huts downhill.
This research focuses on the terraces of Batad, the community, and their surroundings; how they interact with each other to produce the landscape that we see today. This research also documents how the community is coping with changes in the environment and shifting social preferences and how these in turn change the Batad landscape.
the landscape at a glance
Although the terraces are the most prominent part of Batad, the research team identified other areas that make up the overall fabric of the land: the fields, the forest, the community, and the water sources. The terraces, or the payao, are fed by a network of irrigation canals. Most of the water comes from springs and rivers in the muyong or uphill forests to which the locals tend. Below the terraces is a community where the farmers live.
The muyong, or the wood lots situated above the payao, are traditionally planted and protected by the community. Species planted in the muyong include those that are used for firewood and construction. Some species are spared from cutting altogether because locals believe that they housed spirits (Klock, 1995). In the past, cutting down these forests were considered a crime. Waterways are carved out from the muyong and diverted into the payao.
The rice fields or payao are owned by different clans. The family that owns the payao is responsible for planting and maintaining their field. This includes repairing the walls when they break. The payao are handed down from generation to generation within the same family through the eldest child. The more payao a family has, the richer it is. A row of payao is called a kasiyong.
The families who own the land live in the clusters of huts near the fields. Traditionally, they are constructed with cogon roofs over a stilted wooden structure. The huts serve as both home and granary for the locals. The lots are considered communal, with no strict boundaries to keep outsiders or neighbours out. Family lots contain the bale and small edible gardens and areas for poultry. Some lots have their own burial sites
The terraces end at the bottom of the valley where a river runs. The interaction of these biotopes gives a general picture of a self-sustaining way of life that the people of Ifugao have fostered for millennia.
a deeper look into the big picture
Many traditional bale or huts are now roofed with galvanized iron sheets. In some extreme cases, whole houses are constructed with G.I. sheets from roof to wall. People complain that such houses are uncomfortable to live in, being too hot during the day and too cold at night. The irony is that locals continue to use G.I. sheets because they are cheap and readily available as opposed to the traditional cogon roofing material. The prized cogon has become scarcer due to unknown circumstances. Even the traditional form of the bale has been replaced with two-story dwellings that can accommodate members of extended families, suitable for when the owner’s children and grandchildren come to visit.
Landslides in 2012 have caused some parts of the terrace to erode and fall off. Still, other walls are showing signs of weakening. Some locals speculate that this is due to the road construction uphill (Bahiw, through an interview). Others still are blaming the weakening to giant earthworms which were introduced to the area (Berger, 2006). Some of them were repaired with mortar and cement, non-traditional materials, through the efforts of the Department of Agriculture. The rest are left in a dilapidated state due to the shortage of people tending to the terraces. According to the locals, some of the younger people are turning their backs on farming and are being lured by the urban lifestyle in Banaue. This has left some of the payao to become abandoned and overgrown with weeds
The present condition of Batad is far from ideal. Through five days of documenting the biotopes and conducting interviews in the communities, the research team has found that problems are present in many areas. Culturally, there was a reported shift of some locals from farming rice to farming other crops or abandoning farming altogether.
The perceived decline of the landscape and the gradual loss of tradition and culture can be easily blamed on modernization. However, through interviews and observations, the researchers have found out that the situation is not as straightforward as it seemed. In the case of the G.I. sheets replacing cogon as the building material, the shift was made not out of choice but out of necessity. Cogon is scarce, and the new roads leading to Batad brings in cheaper and readily available materials. If it were up to the locals, they would still be using traditional materials and building traditional houses, but right now, that was just not feasible for many
This research aims to continue to phase 2 where the research will focus on the landscape and the people during harvest season. The results of this year’s research will be the baseline data for a long-term research on cultural landscapes of the Philippines.
Berger, S. (2006, March 3). Giant worms destroying ancient rice terraces. Retrieved June 6, 2014, from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/philippines/1512010/Giant-worms-destroying-ancient-rice-terraces.html
Gullino, P., & Larcher, F. (2013). Integrity in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A comparative study for rural lanscapes. Journal of Cultural Heritage , 14 , 389-395. Retrieved April 2014, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1296207412001677
Klock, J. S. (1995). Agricultural and forest policies of the american colonial regime in Ifugao territory, Luzon, Philippines 1901-1945. Philippine Quarterly of Culture & Society , 1 (23), 3-19.
National Geographic. (2014). Philippine Rice Terraces. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from National Geographic: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/philippine-rice-terraces/
UNESCO. (2014). Criteria for Selection. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria/
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2014). Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. Retrieved April 2014, from UNESCO World Heritage Conservation: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/722
outtakes - the research team in action
The 13th edition of the Annual Conference on Architectural Research and Education (ACARE 13) was held last May 15 to 16, 2014 at the Administration Building of the host university, University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao), in Davao City, Davao Del Sur. The 2-day conference was attended by deans, heads, faculty members and students from various architecture schools and universities in the country. With ACARE coming to Mindanao for the very first time, the region was well represented in the conference as participants from UP Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, and University of Mindanao in Davao City also attended the said event. Other participating schools include UP Diliman, Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Santo Tomas (UST), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), National University (NU), University of the East (UE) Caloocan, Adamson University (AdU), De La Salle University-Dasmariñas (DLSU-D), University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Vigan City, and University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City.
Present in the conference were the Board of Trustees and Directors of the Council of Architectural Researchers and Educators (ARCHCARE) led by their chairman, Architect Cristopher Stonewall P. Espina of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD). Other UPD delegates were also present, headed by UP College of Architecture Dean Mary Ann A. Espina. The Conference Convenor for ACARE 13 is UP Mindanao Chancellor Sylvia B. Concepcion and the Conference Director is Prof. Jean Marie V. Juanga of the Department of Architecture of UP Mindanao, with the former giving the welcoming remarks while the latter delivering a keynote message at the start of the conference.
The conference was divided into four (4) regular sessions, namely: Technology, Education, Heritage, and Urban Environment. It also features a special Peer Review Session for professors or educators who are applying for tenure or promotion. Each session have panel of reactors and/or reviewers with knowledge and expertise on the themes and/or fields.
Session I on Technology, with Arch. Ferdinand I. Dela Paz (De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, ARCHCARE Director) as the moderator, was composed of the following papers:
The reactors for Session I were Arch. Leah P. Dela Rosa (University of Santo Tomas, ARCHCARE Director) and Engr. Ruel B. Ramirez (University of the Philippines Diliman). Both papers explore the possibilities of using non-conventional materials for building construction: cob produced in situ that can be used for paving as presented by Architect Vallarta and the inclusion of agricultural wastes available in Mindanao such as durian husk fiber and sugarcane bagasse ash into interlocking compressed earth blocks, which are currently used as alternative materials to concrete hollow blocks in low-cost housing construction, as presented by Architect Narvaez-Pernes.
Arch. Dela Paz also served as the moderator for Session II on Education, which comprised of the following paper presentations:
Dean Ted Villamor G. Inocencio (Polytechnic University of the Philippines, ARCHCARE Director) and Arch. Emilio U. Ozaeta (University of the Philippines Diliman) served as the reactors for this session. The paper of Architect Madrid aims to provide guidelines for local architectural schools in order for them to set an equivalency for curriculum with an internationally accredited school towards the fulfillment of the requirements set by the Canberra Accord. The study of Architect De Paz discusses the use of ability grouping as a way to determine the which abilities may be prioritized to delineate the training students at the secondary level of education should have in order to obtain the program early and become globally competitive while creating a competence meeting local cultural requirements. On the other hand, Architect Datoc’s presentation showed the performance metrics conducted to architecture students of Mapua Institute of Technology to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of students and professionals and to discover measures for improvement in the 3D CADD course.
Arch. Carmen Bettina S. Bulaong (University of the Philippines Diliman) was the moderator for Session III on Heritage. The third session comprised the following topics:
The reactors for this session were Dean Lorelei DC. De Viana (Far Eastern University) and Arch. Rino Domingo A. Fernandez (University of Santo Tomas). Architect Montero presented the concept of sustainable architectural heritage conservation and the possibility of establishing the criteria and qualifications in declaring natural environment and landscapes as part of the people’s heritage. The inculturation of Catholic religious spaces and the present adaptation to the changes experienced in everyday life brought about by the advancing technology were some of the ideas presented by Architect Panopio in her presentation. The last presentation for Day 1 by Architect Gultia focuses on the design components of the mesa altar by describing its anatomy and individual parts to further understand the characteristics of the regional styles of the mesa altar.
Before the end of Day 1, complimentary journals from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through Dr. Gerard Rey A. Lico were given to the representatives of different architecture schools present in the conference.
Day 2 of the conference started with Session IV on Urban Environment. Arch. Rene Luis S. Mata (University of the Philippines Diliman) served as the moderator for this session. The following paper presentations were included in this session:
Arch. Cristopher Stonewall P. Espina and Dr. Nappy L. Navarra (University of the Philippines Diliman) were the reactors for this session. Arch. Equipaje’s study discussed the linkages between climate change, integrated land use and sustainable transport through the assessment of the influence of extreme weather conditions to the planning and design of the urban form and the implementation of walkability component in the central business districts of world cities in Asia through the case study of Singapore. Architect Shih generalized and introduced several policies to reduce or prevent urban sprawl by using comparative and deductive methods in his study in Cebu City. The third presentation of the day used correlation on the user satisfaction with the physical quality or architectural dimensions of the six existing condominiums in Davao City as presented by Architect Songcayaoun. On the other hand, Architect Elardo’s study aims to ascertain and explore the conceptual approaches in creating spaces and its relationship to the Filipino sense of space that reflects our culture and tradition in the usage of space. Finally, Architect Teodoro presented their research that used remote sensing data such as multi temporal satellite images and aerial photos in the analysis of changes in the estero system.
Session V comprised of two (2) peer-reviewed presentations. Arch. Grace E. Servino (University of Santo Tomas, ARCHCARE Director) facilitated the Peer-Review Session, which include the following:
The paper of Landscape Architect Nadal was reviewed by Dean Mary Ann A. Espina and L.Arch. Zenaida DC. Galingan (University of the Philippines Diliman). In her paper, she discussed the landscape design workshop done by professionals and students from University of the Philippines Diliman in the community of Villa San Isidro in Rodriguez, Rizal. The said workshop entitled “Luntiang Barangay: A Landscape Design Workshop Using Indigenous and Edible Plants for the Filipino Communities” was attended by thirty (30) participants comprising three groups from the community. With her study, she assessed the landscape design framework of the workshop according to the intended attributes of a community garden. The goal of the study is to eventually propose a landscape design guidelines for Filipino community gardens with Villa San Isidro’s community gardens as the model.
The second paper presentation was reviewed by Arch. Cristopher Stonewall P. Espina, Engr. Ruel B. Ramirez, and Arch. Rey S. Gabitan (Polytechnic University of the Philippines). In his paper, Architect Seño assessed and compared the risk management practices level among and within each of the seven (7) housing donors, who provided dwellings to the Albay-based typhoon Durian survivors, during the entire project life cycle (PLC) consisting of pre-design, design, construction and post-construction phases of their respective housing projects. He then assessed the disaster resistance level of the donated housing units.
The conference was briefly attended by several honorable guests, including Davao City Councilor Hon. Marissa Abella and Mr. Carlos Vargas from BIMP-EAGA. To cap this annual event, several participants and members of the host school joined the Samal Island Hopping Tour on the day after the conference proper. ACARE13 was a success in so many ways: aside from holding the annual conference for the first time in Mindanao, architects as researchers and educators learned a lot from the diverse topics of paper presentations, hoping to apply the knowledge and information that they have absorbed to their different academic and private practice endeavors. In line with the theme “Tandiwan”, which is actually a Hiligaynon word for “peeping through a window”, it is believed that the expectations for this research conference had been met, that is, evoking the sensation of people as though peeping or looking through a window, providing a vignette or a glimpse of new ideas and opportunities.
“Tandiwan” is conceived as the merging of ideas that encourage cultural preservation in the era of global integration. With the upcoming regional and global integration in the next few years, this research conference is hoped to be a catalyst for change that will encourage and enlighten the architecture community to embark on a borderless architecture practice, not only globally across different cultures but also across different branches of learning.
The next edition of ACARE will be held on February 2015 (tentative date) at University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
(photo credits to ACARE13 Conference Secretariat and Dean Mary Ann Espina)
Congratulations to the students who passed their thesis deliberations! Many of you may be celebrating this major accomplishment, but don't forget that the deliberations are only part of your final requirements. There's still the thesis book to think about. Below are the templates for your thesis book. These apply for both graduate and undergraduate theses. The password for the files is available from the research office (for graduate students, kindly email us so we can give you the password) or from your thesis adviser (for undergraduate students).
This page is dedicated to the activities, publications and research done by the College over the years. It is regularly updated by UPCA's Research Program.