Every year, since 2000, Interior Design students of the University of the Philippines Diliman have been creating furniture, toys, desks and other useful things for street children across Metro Manila.
The graduating class takes a course called ID 179: Special Project in Interior Design, in which the students undertake a renovation project for the benefit of an advocacy-driven foundation.
This project gives students a hands-on experience of the design profession guided by the UP values of honor, excellence and service for the greater good.
For this year, the UP Interior Design Class of 2017 chose to do a project dubbed “Tawid: Design Beyond Borders” under the supervision of Dr. Raquel B. Florendo.
Thirty students created a product line of multi-use furniture and accessories for the benefit of Tulay ng Kabataan, a foundation that extends assistance
to the poorest of the poor, the neglected and abandoned street children of Metro Manila.
“‘Tawid’ also aims to raise awareness on the overwhelming number of street children across the country who are not getting the care they need,” said ‘Tawid’ chair Paulyne Genson.
To make their creations relevant and functional, the students took note of the needs of street kids. Their design concept was based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—a theory in psychology that he explained in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.”
The paper points out that the level of human needs, illustrated in pyramid form—with the more important need at the bottom—consists of self-actualization, esteem, love or belongingness, safety and physiological.
The works are not only clever space savers, they’re also environment-friendly—using recyclable materials such as plastic and paper.
Old items such as wood and tires have been restored and reused for better purposes.
“Seeing the designs come to life in our exhibit stirred up a sense of fulfillment among us batch mates,” said Abbie San Juan, who built a building-block work table and a deconstructable bench.
The students worked for almost nine months.
“The power of art and design was integrated in the project, how the works can fulfill the objectives of “Tawid,” said Genson.
“What’s heartwarming about the project is ‘Tawid’’s advocacy that shatters the stereotype that interior design is only for the rich. The goal of the project is to bridge the gap between street children and society through interior design,” added Genson.
The pieces were exhibited at the Main Hall of the Bulwagan ng Dangal in UP Diliman on April 19-28.
You can also help the UP Interior Design Class of 2017 achieve their goal by showing your support on social media. Like and follow their Facebook page and Instagram: UP Interior Design; Facebook: UP Interior Design —CONTRIBUTED