Avante: The USC Safad Annual Design Awards 2022 (1st of 2 parts)

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An end marks a new beginning. In university academic calendars, a “beginning exercise” means the beginning of a new life in the real world for a graduate rather than emphasizing the culmination of his learning. For undergraduates, it’s time to recharge in time for another academic year ahead. As one embarks on new beginnings, one begins to move towards something better armed with new learnings.

Moving Forward has become the focus of this year’s annual Design Awards and Expo of the School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design at the University of San Carlos (USC Safad) . With the theme “Avante”, it continues its showcase of student excellence, but on the virtual platform for the second consecutive year. The end of the school year recognizes high-performing students in the various academic programs of USC Safad such as architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, advertising arts, fashion design, painting and movie theater.

Miniature pavilions. Having yet to experience a Safad design exhibition in person, the first-year architecture students were tasked with conceptualizing a pavilion that would serve as the venue for such an event. After some research and discussions with mentors and classmates, who had first-hand experiences of such events, they came up with programs that took full account of the typical activities performed indoors.

Collaboration was the key concept behind this year’s gold winner for first-year architectural design courses. Prolific student and student leader Iolo Keon Villegas said working together ensures the best possible outcome and is evident in the design of his pavilion.

“Each cantilever plan represents architects, interior designers and landscape architects. The design of the pavilion gives the impression that the planes are relying on each other for support, giving the impression that the absence of one will cause the entire structure to topple, as will the absence of one of the professions of the built environment will have a big impact. negative effect on society,” Keon explained, “each of us designers are equally important and we each bring something unique to help build and improve our community.”

A cardboard pattern of irregularly cut interlocking pieces by a popular French designer became the main inspiration for the work of silver winner Mary Bernadette Ramirez. Karl Nawrot’s sculpture fit perfectly with his concept of interconnected “ideas” presented in the pavilion. Even with a foreign-inspired concept, Madeth likes to incorporate “innovative details and a distinctly Filipino touch.”

“Receiving this award at the end of the school year makes the whole experience so rewarding and motivates me to keep moving forward,” said the former high school student, who admitted to having doubts about her decision to embark on architecture.

The overwhelming joy is echoed by bronze winner Kate Wrina Barcenas after finishing among the top three designers in their batch. Her pavilion, dubbed “Onyx”, penetrated deeper into the designer’s mind in order to “keep a work of art”.

“The intricacy of the design provides insight into how the human mind works to be able to incorporate the seductive, confusing and arduous elements. The gemstone represents an unknown power, as does the way the mind is able to create ‘countless possibilities for creation, emotions and ideas,’ Kate said of her work.

The scale models of these students show the creativity and hard work they had to put in to articulate their design ideas into something tangible. It’s also a product of fun to make these models, something these design winners share. It is true that work becomes less tedious when you have fun doing it. This will serve as an important motivation for their fellow future architects to always do their best in everything they do.

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