Project Kalinga, a day care inside UP Diliman, gets fresh reno

Ang taong ‘di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay ‘di makakarating sa paroroonan.” We’ve all heard our parents, grandparents, and even teachers deliver this age-old saying at least once in our lives. Even though it may sound dated, it still remains true to this day.

As parents, we all wish for our kids to grow up as good people. We want them to embody basic values while they reach their dreams. I’m pretty sure the parents of the senior students from the University of the Philippines’ BS Interior Design Program are very proud of their children right now. For their capstone course ID 179: Special Project in Interior Design, the graduating batch has taken the opporunity to give back to their beloved university.

Their thesis, titled “Project Kalinga: Nurturing Spaces for the Future,” aims to redesign the UP Kalinga Day Care Center (KDCC), a humble institution within the university that looks after the children of UP employees while their parents are at work. Also known as the “Pink House in Area 1,” the non-formal and non-structured alternative learning institution caters to children aged 1.6 to 5.5 years old. It is supervised by the Center for UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, KDCC aims to meet the developmental needs of children in a gender-fair and peaceful environment, as well as promote positive self-concept in children.

The project’s advocacy is to promote holistic development in children through encouraging and nurturing environments. They believe it is necessary to highlight the attention given to children of this age because this is where their cognitive and social aspects begin to develop. They also saw choosing KDCC as a means of giving back to the university that they stayed in.

Under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Pamela Aquino and with their Project Head, Dana Sangalang, the group is comprised of Mikee Arevalo (CAD Operator and Procurement), Catherine Asejo and Erielle Ekong (Quality Control and Site Coordinators), Clement Ignacio (Design Head), Gaille Marquez (Secretariat & Procurement), Rizza Tabios (Procurement and Quality Control), Sophia Teaño and Angela Titular (Externals & Publicity Co-heads), and Steffi Yuquimpo (Design Co-head and Finance).

Together they worked to renovate KDCC’s main shared spaces, including the Reception Area, Teachers’ Room, Recreation Area, Kitchen, Storage Room, and Restroom. They also introduced a Breastfeeding Area and a Dining Area in the renovated daycare.

In the process of choosing a beneficiary, the class conducted visits to various institutions that may need their services. Once they are decided, they assess the space to see which areas need the most attention and what problems can be improved through interior design. They also look for contractors for the project. The class then proceeds to conceptualize what design will fit the space.

Project Kalinga’s outcome came from the idea of a “Treehouse”, as the space is imaginative and results from the collaboration between a child’s imagination and an adult’s guidance. They saw this as parallel to the function of a day care center.

Throughout one semester (over 5 months), the class handled all the needs of the design, from the technical plans and detail drawings, the procurement of furniture, and the coordination with the contractor in executing the design. They also looked for sponsors, handled marketing and publicity, and conducted various events to raise funds for the total cost of the project.

Through Project Kalinga, Batch 2020 students were able to grasp better their roles as future professionals in the field and the value of their services, especially for the underserved. To learn more about the project, you may visit their Facebook page, UP BS Interior Design Class of 2020.

Project Kalinga is co-presented by Hulma Manila Fabrication, Inc., Global Visions Events & Marketing, Inc., Saxum Et Sal, Inc., in cooperation with Kuysen Enterprises, Inc. and is also brought to you by Creamline Ice Cream, Universal Robina Corporation, Splash Corporation, Aztec Secret Health & Beauty, San Miguel PureFoods, Republic Biscuit Corporation, and Del Monte Foods, Inc.

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