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Research Agenda from Studio Laboratories AY 2021-2022

Studio LabResearch Agenda
Architectural CommunicationsArchitectural communications pedagogy and approaches; mentorship methods and delivery or courses   Non-visual architectural communications for design
Building ScienceBuilding Science Studio Laboratory (BSSL) Research Theme: Communicating Building Science    Communicating Building Science means expanding the vocabulary of students and researchers in terms of building science and its components. The communication of building science should take on a more specific and sensitive terminology and meaning beyond the generic or the basic.  Studies and research in BSSL will be more focused in terms of either building envelop, transport, disaster resilience, building systems and utilities. Each of these fields have their own qualitative and quantitative metrics which should be examined, expressed and communicated effectively to show their value, relevance and applicability. It is the objective that understanding these metrics leads to their easier communication and regular use—including cross-cultural collaborative contexts. 
Environmental Architecture Studio Laboratory  Sustainability and Resiliency The UPCA–IGP research agenda for Tropical Design aims to improve on and contextualize climate-responsive architecture. The Environmental Architecture Laboratory (EAL) administers the Tropical Design program. With the active global focus on sustainability and resiliency, the IGP hopes to improve and contextualize our country’s response to the sustainability and resiliency concerns in the built environment. Research under Tropical Design will cover a wide range of issues that bear on how buildings can be made liveable, sustainable, and resilient in Philippine tropical conditions. The topics for investigation will cover: Technological issues – building materials, components and systems; special focus on extreme weather conditions Design issues – climatic performance and form-giving issues Social issues – thermal comfort, user perception of built environments, attitudes toward buildings and building resiliency concerns All these topics may be applied from room to urban scale issues.
Urban DesignNext Wave Cities   The Next Wave Cities are the cities that shall pave the way for equitable and inclusive growth among the subnational regions in our country.  Our national government and developmental planning institutions have been prioritizing these as a response to the need for decentralization and the instrument for counteracting the unmitigated growth of the National Capital Region.   The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) identified a network of growth centers to maximize the benefits of agglomeration, which is the direct translation of the Build, Build, Build Program; and thus, enabling regions to be better connected, addressing socioeconomic inequities by linking lagging regions with leading ones, boosting efficiency and productivity for more growth, and improving disaster management. (NEDA, 2018)     As the research theme of UDSL, the students are challenged to explore theories, and principles, which will contribute to the body of knowledge of understanding Next Wave Cities and its related concepts and propose approaches, methods, and strategies for the creation of their physical-spatial manifestations and urban design.
Environmental LandscapesAgile Landscapes   The uncertainty of the pandemic has temporarily put the world on hold. Global markets, travel- related industries, and education are just some of the sectors that have been affected most by it.   For our protection, we decided to stay inside our homes, lock our doors and limit physical contact with the outside world. The effects of climate change, natural calamities and human-exacerbated catastrophes further put us in fear and confusion of the situation. Our cities have become our prison. The common spaces that we used to enjoy seemed unfamiliar, unsound, and unpredictable. But humans that we are, we cannot stay in fear of the unknown for so long. We have begun to think of ways on how to move forward from the temporary standstill. This has forced us to rethink our views of what it means to be safe and healthy. Now, opening our windows to let air in, becoming more vigilant in keeping our surroundings clean, and appreciating more the days that we are given, these are acts of bravery in a yet fragile predicament.   In Landscape Architecture, these events have forever and already changed the way we think, experience, and design spaces. It has forced the profession and the practice to be more adaptive and agile. Agility can be defined as “the ability to move quickly and easily, or to think clearly” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2021). In business, it can also mean ways of “planning and doing work in which it is understood that making changes as they are needed is an important part of the job.”   Furthermore, Christopher Webb (Deloitte, 2016) graphically used a subway map to represent the many methodologies within the Agile Process. He challenged individuals and organizations to scrutinize and decide on which framework, practice or technique is most suitable to address a specific problem or need. The current situation dared and challenged us to create future-proofed undertakings to prepare us in facing what’s next. Emphasis on outdoor space and greens, reimagination of suburban centers, the impact of COVID on design, and the development and utilization of technology are only some of the topics Landscape Architecture is exploring in the eventuality of embracing the unknown.
Practice and GovernanceReinforcing the practice of architecture to address emerging societal issues related to health and well-being  
History, Theory, and CriticismPost Colonial Studies of the Built Environment