The course Community Architecture and Urban Design (AR 4100) through the guidance of the course instructors allows the BS Architecture students of USC to directly engage with the stakeholders and the beneficiaries of their designs and proposals.
Through the guidance of the course instructors - Ar. Robert Malayao, Ar. Vangie Cheryl Ulila, Ar. Nheil Crisostomo, and Ar. Donna Belle Pongase, the course introduces the students to the role of architecture to shape the built environment in collaboration with the users and stakeholders to enhance the culture, heritage, identity, and sense of a place. It aims to inculcate in the students the importance of the collaborative process to address the issues and needs of a community without compromising environmental sustainability and limiting human behavior, diversity, and community. The synergistic approaches to the production of an urban design for the target community are anchored on respecting and understanding the impact of the built environment on the natural environment.
Following David Wilcox's "Guide to Effective Participation" and in alignment with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), the participatory approach employed, albeit mostly done by the students in a virtual set-up, is up to the "Involve" level.
PARTICIPATORY APPROACH ACTIVITIES
Several activities were conducted to ensure that the students get a better grasp of the situation in the Municipality.
- Informing the public
- Aug 22 - Orientation
- Aug 2 - Identification of Questions in preparation for the stakeholder's consultation. At this stage, regardless of the teams, the students crafted questions that they think will allow them to better understand the situation of the specific offices in the LGU of Alcoy and the marginalized sectors in the municipality.
- Consulting the public
- Sep 1 - Consulting the LGU and the marginalized sector representatives. The questions previously crafted by the students were sent in advance to the Municipal Planning and Development Office for initial dissemination to the representatives of the sectors and the LGU Offices. On the day of the consultation, the students asked the questions and heard the responses firsthand.
- Involving the public
- Nov 4 - Online Townhall Meeting. This activity was attended by representatives from professional organizations: United Architects of the Philippines - Cebu Chapter, Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners - Cebu Chapter, and the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects. There were also attendees from the Municipality of Alcoy's Sangguniang Bayan, the MPDC, the Tourism Office, the DILG MLGOO, ICO MSWD, the Municipal Agriculture Office, and a representative from the Senior Citizens Sector.
To better ensure the preparedness of the students in crafting their proposals, guest lecturers from various fields were invited to give a talk.
- Community-Based Planning: Case Studies from a Highly Urbanized City by Ar. Ann Marie Yap-Cuizon
- The Bali Silent Retreat: A Case Study on Community-Based Ecotourism by Ms. Patricia Miklautsch
- Ecosystems Approach to Land Management by LArch/ Arch. Ma. Socorro Atega
- Philippine Biodiversity: Focusing Alcoy by For. Orlyn Roxas
The aforementioned talks run in parallel and in support of the Design-based and Theory-based lectures that the AR 4100 Instructors gave to the students.
- Community Architecture (Ar. Robert Malayao)
- Sustainable Development (Ar. Nheil Crisostomo)
- Role of Architects in Sustainable Development (Ar. Nheil Crisostomo)
- Public Participation in Community Planning (Ar. Robert Malayao)
- Ecotourism and its appropriateness for developing countries (Ar. Robert Malayao)
- Value of Infrastructure in Rural Development (Ar. Donna Belle Pongase)
- Green and Blue Infrastructure (Ar. Donna Belle Pongase)
- Built and Natural Environment: The Built and natural heritage & culture conservation (Ar. Vangie Cheryl Ulila)
- Design Philosophy (Ar. Robert Malayao)
- Architectural Programming & Program (Ar. Nheil Crisostomo)
- Site Analysis & Site Selection (Ar. Vangie Cheryl Ulila)
- Site Development (Ar. Donna Belle Pongase)
The proposals identified by students take into consideration the Priority Sectors of the Municipality of Alcoy as identified in its Comprehensive Development Plan. However, the students were instructed that in all of their proposals, regardless of their sector, the infrastructure must be considered particularly on how the different proposals are connected.
Apart from the alignment of the proposals to the priority sectors of Alcoy, the students are also instructed to develop their proposals to address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This not only ensures proposals that are needed by the residents of Alcoy but is also more grounded and responsive to international directives.