The Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD), the pioneer and sole government-owned institution for the Deaf in the country, is currently under renovation through an initiative of 14 student-artists.
Dubbed Pandama: Resonating with Silence, after the Filipino word for senses, the project aims to transform the dining hall of the new PSD dormitory into a multi-purpose environment for the Deaf.
The 89.1-square-meter-space will be refurbished into a modular learning, dining and lounging area that accommodates around 50 PSD students. The room will allocate wide pathways and will be furnished with rhombus-shaped tables, movable benches with pull-down drawer storage and a custom folding counter. It will be completed with wall-mounted fixtures including writing boards, floating shelves and built-in cubby holes.
The space will be equipped with specialized acoustic and lighting systems that are translated throughout a curvilinear silhouette reflected around the area. It will likewise feature sound-absorbing materials such as acoustic panels, soft and padded furniture pieces and curved edges to lessen the noise and vibrational diversions.
The lighting design will help minimize eye strain as well as control distractions caused by shadows. There will be a color-coded lighting system to utilize visual cues in signaling or alerting the users: Red for emergencies, green for announcements, and blue for lights out.
The outreach task is spearheaded by young innovators from the Interior Design Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), who applied principles from the Deafspace Design Guidelines by Gallaudet University, a private and premier US-based institution dedicated for the Deaf and hard of hearing learners.
The Pandama team, mentored by IDr. Celiza Sim, is comprised of Erika Ordinario, Tala Gil, Kim Guinto, Kyrah Sy, Patricia Pesebre, Michaela Mandap, Millicent Go, Nina Rubio, Jermela Munji, Aundrea Bunyi, Michael Vazquez, Mica Tempongko, Jasmine Sy and Mark Arana.
“Our overall goal was to design a space that is inclusive to its users: a space that understands, a space that motivates, a space that is limitless,” Marketing Committee member Munji shared. “Pandama’s vision is to amplify sensory reach through design interventions permitting the hard of hearing to connect with the space and with one another.”
“The design amplifies the fact that these communities are here and should be seen and heard through a different light – a light that takes all their needs into consideration without limitations through accessible design,” Gil and Guinto, Front of the House duo, stressed. “Their capabilities are then amplified as they are more than what they seem.”
“It’s a stigma in the Philippines that interior design is a luxury for those who can afford it and while there is truth to this thought, the interior design industry is making strides in cultivating a more innovative and accessible practice that allows well-designed spaces to benefit those who need them the most,” Project Manager Ordinario added.
The construction is set to be completed by March 2022.