I think there should be a recurrence of the Wearable/Portable architecture project, in places outside of Manila too. It may be interesting to have this workshop in collaboration with various groups, from temporary settlers to nomadic tribes, with every recurrence tailored to the particular needs of every group.
I learned to find solutions for creating a piece that will protect the frailty of the human body and provide for its needs.
Maybe the designs and prototypes can be shown to appropriate government agencies like NDCC or DOST (?) and private entitites with corporate social responsibility endeavors (like Primer Group's Center for Outdoor Recreation and Expedition) because they may be able to study and develop the designs further and find ways to produce them in larger quantities for public use.
In our designs, we tried to deal with certain problems that we think are most recurrent in the given setting. I noticed that most of my co-participants chose to build portable homes that could float and chose fabrics that could reflect the heat, in trying to deal with the country's climate. From the prototypes and designs that were made in this workshop, one could see which aspects require the most urgent response and point out which could really be considered a necessity of living.
This is a great opportunity to educate and help people in their decision making when it comes to building safe homes with a minimal budget. If possible, people from different settings (families living in the streets, in flood-affected areas, near bodies of water, on elevated areas, etc.) could also participate in discussions like this, so that we could be more aware of the needs of people that vary with their surroundings. From their responses, workshop participants could try to create portable homes that are more adaptive and feasible.
To Smartpower Manila,
Doing this project has been a worthwhile experience for me. It showed me how art can become a powerful tool in providing a vision of what the world can become. As an educator, the project has inspired me to look into ways of integrating this mindset, a sense of 'future preparedness' in the way I teach my students. If art had to be relevant to this day and age, I think we must all start looking at art not merely as desirable objects to look at and to keep but rather to look at art as a process of visualizing the challenges of future life. By providing that vision of a future that most of us won't be able to see, we are able to provide solutions, we are able to foresee, create models and test problems that may arise in how future generations of Filipinos will exist in worlds very different from ours.
Another important facet to this project is the role of collaboration, of how people can come together from various backgrounds and be able to put their creativity and strength into making various forms of wearable and portable structures. I honestly think we would have made a more cohesive structure at the end, if we had encouraged more interaction among the members throughout the whole process. Hard to expect if you ask me, from a group which only met for only a few days, but I still hope the project, if it will ever happen again, will be structured in a way that more people can be engaged in it collaboratively, the interaction meticulously documented. This documentation adds a new dimension to the project. It aims to enrich both the experience and the value of the project. Just things we might want to consider next time :-)
Lastly and I will reiterate what I said for that interview at green papaya, wearable and portable architecture is not something new to Filipinos. We have done it along time ago and we are still doing it now, our history is filled with anecdotes to how the ingenious Filipino can create a home, a structure out of the barest materials. The 'indiogenius' Filipino has managed to create their homes from scrap metal, discarded wood and tarpaulin sheets and even placed them on areas you and I can hardly imagine as habitable. The bahay kubo is portable (to prove my point further) and if you will look at the group carrying that large geodesic sphere along the streets leading to the site, the image is reminiscent of a 'bayanihan' image in a Botong Francisco painting. And the colors, of the wearable pieces, they add a flavor of festiveness that we Filipinos are all too familiar with. The experience with wearable portable architecture has become uniquely Filipino in my view.