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)
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