FUSING aesthetics and alternative energy to promote a functional lifestyle, Edilberto "Butch" Cunanan and Manuel Dacanay, professors from the College of Fine Arts and Design, launched a collaborative exhibition titled Sustainable Community + Mobility at the UST Museum last March 27 to April11.

“NuvaliTree” by Cunanan and the “APT Scooter” by Dacanay applied “ecologically and environmentally compliant and sustainable design” approach. The art pieces are products of their thesis at the UST Graduate School.

Inspired by the Nuvali, a sustainable community development in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Cunanan developed the functional art NuvaliTree that uses solar energy to produce 500 watts of electricity to power outdoor sculpture lamp posts.

“The core of the project is to help the city through this project,” Cunanan told the Varsitarian.

NuvaliTree is made of stainless steel, resin for the frame of the leaves and stained glass, which can be replaced over time.

The outdoor sculpture is a preparation for urban planning, which has a city-wide scope. However, there are many considerations in terms of history and aesthetics so Cunanan narrowed down the project to a familiar place, Nuvali, which happens to be around his neighborhood.

“Nuvali is a thriving community and [it] offers a lot of opportunity to merge art and lifestyle,” Cunanan said.

The painting inspiration for the project was also displayed in the museum. Cunanan’s favorite piece, “Tres Mujeres” (The Three Women of Nuvali), a three-painting series, was inspired by the three parcels of land in Nuvali.

“It’s not in literature, but when Ayala Land developed the vast property of the Yulo’s in Laguna, they named the lands after the three Yulo women— Ceci, Aurora, and Vesta,” Cunanan said.

Defining a hero

The paintings mostly depicted trees, Cunanan’s favorite subject. The trees were set against different solid backgrounds that portrayed the time of the day.

Meanwhile, the APT Scooter by Dacanay promotes alternative energy for mobility. The project aims to reduce carbon footprints when traveling.

The graduate research output will be displayed again this July at the Beato Angelico Building at the opening of the new academic year. Nikka Lavinia G. Valenzuela


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