On Monday, March 25, 2013 Foundation University hosted the blessing and inauguration of the new classroom in Malaunay, Valencia – the first project completed by Estudio Damgo senior architecture students. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by over one hundred community members and leaders from the Department of Education, local government and partner corporations.
First-time visitors complimented the project leaders (and new graduates!), Rick Gando and Von Jovi Biale, on their use of local materials to create an attractive, comfortable and durable classroom for the community’s youngest students. The final design incorporated local materials of bamboo, sak-sak, rammed earth and clay to complete the 434 square foot classroom and restroom for under $7,000 USD. The Department of Education is already considering opportunities for replicating the design in Negros Oriental and beyond. Foundation University hopes that other Filipino university architecture programs might also be inspired to add design-build to their course offerings as a win-win for student preparation and community design.
Malaunay currently has one permanent daycare serving over 30 preschoolers. Already too small, the room was flooded with three feet of water during the storm. Estudio Damgo, the first design-build course offered by a Philippine university has planned a new daycare for the village. Our building will play an important role in the children’s future. It is a permanent place that they can call their own; a welcoming space to begin their educational journey.
Goal & Objectives
To provide all Foundation University architecture students hands-on experience applying innovative design and construction to lead and complete a sustainable, replicable and community-based project.
Current Phase: Construction, November-March 2013
Last week, fourth and fifth year architecture students took one day to visit the Philippine Bamboo Foundation to see the process of farming and treating bamboo for construction and learn how to construct bamboo trusses. By day’s end, the students had completed one truss sample (shown in picture). The daycare should be receiving its first batch of treated bamboo early this week.
On-site, despite rain and mud, the student work crew worked on plastering the one concrete wall and finished digging the septic tank. Last Friday and Saturday the architecture students were joined by 11 College of Agriculture volunteers. One of the volunteers stated, “The [daycare] project of Estudio Damgo will greatly increase the sanitation and health of the children of Malaunay. And it shows the creativity of Foundation University architecture students too.’’ One instructor also said, “I like that the students are getting hands-on experience in both design and construction on a real project for a community that needs the services.”
This week, students will tamper rammed earth benches and non-load bearing walls. And on January 24, the first community meeting of the new year is scheduled to discuss the progress of the project and collect feedback on proposed murals to be painted with the help of Foundation University Fine Arts students. The parents of the children who will soon go to school in the new classroom are most grateful for the hard work of Foundation University students.
Construction Costs 350,000 pesos
Funds Raised 500,344 pesos
Surplus Funds 150,344 pesos
Some surplus funds will be use for new classroom furniture like chalkboard, desks and chairs, etc. The remainder of funds will be reserved for next year’s Estudio Damgo project, to be determined during summer session in preparation for next year’s senior architecture students to lead forward. Estudio Damgo is an ongoing course for senior architecture students at Foundation University. Every graduating class will have to complete a new community project. Many thanks to our donors for making this possible!
DEC 2, DUMAGUETE, PHILIPPINES - While most students were picking out new school supplies and courses for the second semester, the senior Architecture students at FU donned their grungiest work clothes, and started hoisting shovels and cement blocks up the mountain. Construction work for them has begun.Last June, Foundation University had launched the first design-build studio in the Philippines. Led by Filipino-American Architecture instructor, Ray Villanueva, 5th year Architecture students were given the task to lead a project from design all the way through actual construction. Every year, senior students would complete a new project for a specific community in the Province. For this first year, students have worked closely with barangay Malaunay in the municipality of Valencia to design a day-care facility for its growing population.Villanueva recalls the process of trial and error as they were brainstorming on the name for the design studio for students. He said the natural inclination was to use the term bayanihan since it accurately describes the community effort involved in such a project. But then they thought the term seems overused, and not Cebuano. Something about tambayayong didn’t stick either. Finally it was called Estudio Damgo (or "Dream Studio" in the local dialect).“What we do in this studio is something that’s new and different, and is based on dreams,” explained Villanueva.He said the studio is “the dream” hatched by Architect Dean Sinco and himself to bring design-build to the Philippines, the dream of Malaunay to have a permanent daycare center, and the dream of students, Rick Gando and Jon Jovi Biale, to graduate in March having completed their first building as architects (by hand).In the first semester, the Architecture students hosted several community meetings to go over the barangay’s needs and plans for the new daycare center. For their final exam, Gando and Biale submitted detailed plans, renderings, and a cost analysis for the classroom. And early this month, they broke ground, and began the sometimes-painful-but-also-rewarding process of making their dream a reality. “Now that construction has begun, I can feel myself maturing as a designer,” Biala said. “Because we are responsible for the whole project which we started from ‘scratch’, we now realize how important every detail is -- from the materials we choose to the finishings; how every decision really effects the project, and how important it is to plan ahead,” he added.The senior students are not alone. Fourth year students are also participating in the construction work, handling specific details of various materials and finishings. Foundation University’s extensive workshop is on-hand for tools and expertise, and Valencia residents have been pitching in as volunteer labor and support. It is estimated that the total cost of the class for Estudio Damgo is a little over P900,000. Foundation has so far committed over half of the amount, but needs to raise another P350,000 to cover construction materials. Villar Foundation has granted P50,000; while Buglas Bamboo Institute has offered a five percent discount on bamboo products sourced from them. Foundation University also accepts tax-deductible donations from US residents through the website of Global Giving www.globalgiving.org/projects/estudio-damgo-daycare/To date, Estudio Damgo has raised over P260,000, largely from online donations.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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