ART REFORMATION and cutting-edge solutions to urban problems were among the focus of this year’s best theses from the Colleges of Fine Arts and Design and of Architecture.

Advertising Arts student Portia Hizon focused on fashion design and merchandising. Titled “Patched: Shabby Chic Casuals,” her thesis offers patchwork quilted clothes in shabby chic style with young women as target audience.

“As an artist, I am really into details,” she said. “This is probably why I chose the very intricate technique of patchwork quilting as my thesis topic. I chose shabby chic because it brings out the feminine side of women in a subtle way.”

Leo Cosim, another Advertising Arts student, did a book illustration campaign for Gilda Cordero Fernando’s “The Magic Circle” to reflect the author's message in promoting Philippine myth.

Cosim combined pen and ink technique with digital color for the re-illustration project.

“I chose local more than foreign,” Cosim said. “I want us to appreciate what is ours,” Cosim said. The moral lesson of the book is excellent and people of all ages can relate to it.”

Meanwhile, most of the top theses from the College of Architecture sought to address environmental concerns by applying the concept of sustainable architecture: an “oceanarium” by Fernando Cunanan, an arboretum by Ela Ruth Del Rosario, an eco-housing project by Kenneth Marvin Masing and an urban redevelopment headquarters by Makoto Hojo.

Cunanan’s project, “MARIN-EX: An Immersive Exhibition of Aquatic Life” was chosen as Thesis of the Year.

Underscoring the vast marine life of the country, Cunanan aimed for a facility that would not only house rich marine flora and fauna but would also educate the community in conserving them. “The Philippines lacks an oceanarium even though we have one of the most diverse marine environments in the world,” Cunanan said.

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Meanwhile, Del Rosario presented “Oasis: Clark’s Arboretum” to raise awareness of the country’s rich natural resources. “I would like to design this facility that would give respect to nature—the origin of architecture,” she said. An arboretum is a botanical garden for trees.

Hoping to provide leisure away from the busy city life, Villanueva’s “Treehouse Eco-Resort: Surreal Living with the Natural World” uses green architectural solutions for the urbanite to be “one with nature.”

Masing’s project aims not only to revolutionize housing projects but also provide employment. “Tierra + Acqua: Kalikasan + Kabuhayan = Kasaganahan” proposes a new residential brand for Ayala Land, Inc. that will provide decent housing to informal settlers in exchange for urban farming work for the company. Proposed to be located at the center of Metro Manila, the crops produced will not only compensate rent but will also provide income for the company.

Lastly, Hojo’s “Sapphire Tower: Jewel in the Sky Quezon City Urban Redevelopment Authority Headquarters” intends not only to provide an iconic structure but also a new government sector that would promote heritage preservation in the country. Elyssa Christine A. Lopez And Aliliana Margarette T. Uyao

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