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.
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.