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Today was a special workshop which would involve the whole community. It was an opportunity for the mothers, fathers and children to show each other the work they have been doing and also help consolidate the design to date. The mothers and kids in charge of the design and drawings and the fathers in charge of the prototyping of the doors and windows. Two of our local architectural partners from Manila (Pierre and Miko from Locsin) had come to Tacloban us to experience a live workshop for the first time. Our friend, Gianfranco with his partner Lucky also joined to document the proceedings.

This was the first time the Mothers would run their own workshop, although with Alex present. After getting through the standard morning drama of missing pens and sudden unannounced rice donations nanay Annie, Marge, Rosie, Gina and Elena finally started the morning session of the workshop. They split the other mothers in two groups to recap/reflect on previous workshops and how this work can help their children achieve their dreams. In advance we had printed out the drawings they made during the previous workshop with an outline of this design to scale. The aim was to redraw the plan to scale, and address the actual interior and the movement through the spaces more in detail. Throughout the workshop the mothers agreed on a concept that is traditionally done for school buildings in the area: All movement through the building is externalized with separate entrances to each room to minimize noise and disturbances. Nanay Margie’s group with our architectural partner Pierre, had added the external corridor on the north side. Nanay Annie’s group with Miko had added the external corridor on the south side, as well as an outdoor performance stage. They also decided that the book shelving of the library should be to the side of the larger study area/dining space rather than in separate room. The prupose of this was to maximise space as we all had realized the buildings had become longer than what our site allows. At the end of this morning session the mothers sat down to write a letter to their child explaining each room in the study-center/ function hall.

Mothers drawing the new plan

On site the fathers had grabbed their nails and hammers and carried out the doors and windows to put a final touch on their creations before the would present this to the mothers and kids in the afternoon. The kids on the other hand had gathered to put together fantastic stories about imaginary windows that would act as an inspiration for the actual building. The kids in the residential programme had already done this before, so instead they sat down and wrote a summary of each of the different rooms in the study center building and function hall. Zoe compiled the kids poems & drawings and presented these together with the window and door designs that the fathers had developed. It was incredibly inspiring to see it all presented together.

Looking at the kids window drawings
Door option 1

Over lunch we all had lechon that the streetlight facilitators had prepared the day in advance. This was an opportunity for the parents to look at the kids poems, as well as the drawings that had been made by the mothers and fathers. A large proportion of mothers then left to collect rice from Tzu Chi. In the meantime the kids found methods to entertain themselves by singing chants or spelling out ‘STUDY CENTER’ with their bodies.

Describing the plan

After lunch the mothers presented their two plans that was remarkably similar was it not for the north and south facing porch. The kids concluded the event by choosing a porch on both sides. Openness was another element that was evident in the mothers plans. These would be opened and ventilated by the two-fold doors that the fathers had been developing. Once we were done with presenting the mothers plans the fathers brought out the doors and windows they had made. To every ones surprise the two-fold doors were incredibly tall, and the windows proved to be incredibly heavy. As objects they were beautiful, but to work we need to find a way to make them much lighter.

Wacky photo with the comunity

To wrap up todays workshop Gianfranco and his crew took some wacky photos of the community in front of their work. Following this workshop Miko, Zoe, Piere, Jago and Alex all traveled to Manila to draw up the plans that the community had made.

The fathers prototypes
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