Article by Ken Pineda (UPCLAS)
Hands-on learning combined with traditional learning is a great way for students to learn. Often times when professors want us to learn, they tell us to go look for a book that they’ll recommend and find the information we need in it. Surely, this has been the traditional way of learning. However, some students learn best when hands-on activities are involved. Our organization, the University of the Philippines Circle of Landscape Architecture Students (UPCLAS), offers these learning experiences for the students to learn more about landscape architecture. One of these activities is our participation in the Orchid & Garden Show 2013, which we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity of cooperating in.
Introduced to us by Professor Patrick Gozon, the Orchid & Garden Show 2013 was held by the Philippine Orchid Society in cooperation with the Quezon City Government. The event was open to all who wish to attend. It had the theme “Philippine Orchid Species Revisited”. They had stalls of orchids and other ornamental plants displayed, while several contractors have joined and had their own unique inputs to display. Some made colorful designs that surely caught our attention. Others love the Philippine culture so much that a bahay kubo façade was put up behind their ornamental plants, but for some, showcasing a foreign culture is also great. It was really great to see how creative people can be, but we just had to keep our design simple.
Under UPCLAS, our team consisted of Landscape Architecture students coming from all year levels. We wanted the whole experience of doing this activity, which is why we met and discussed everything from the making of our concept to the construction of our design. Even though we wanted to keep our design creative, we had to keep it simple because of our resources. Since being landscape architecture students require us to be creative, a lot of design concept ideas came up but only one stood out. The concept comes from a quote by Frederick R. Bernard, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Photographers have to shoot from different angles in order to capture the perfect photo. Likely so, our design included a giant frame in front of our showcase. We wanted the people to see how the garden we made can be seen from different views but can only have one perfect picture. In addition, the design theme we thought of was Ornamental Plants Revisited. Both the design concept and theme were expressed in terms of human-plant interaction. Since studying Landscape Architecture can influence our design, we did not want the audience to see our creation by just looking at it from the outside. We wanted the people to explore the ornamental and native plants we used, and we also wanted them to be part of the framed picture by stepping into our garden showcase.
Being part of an activity like this, each one who participated, learned a lot specially the factors that might affect putting up a certain design. Coming up with a concept and/or a theme is crucial because it will dictate how things are going to turn out when your plans are constructed. Resources are also a factor. Without the plants, which we borrowed from Cypress Bomanite, and the hardscape materials we carefully sought, there wouldn’t be a good showcase to put up. It was an honor to be in the Philippine Orchid & Garden Show 2013, and it was a great learning experience for students like us.
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