Nexus to success

FOCUS. The integration of different entry portals was among the salient features of the thesis proposal.
FOCUS. The integration of different entry portals was among the salient features of the thesis proposal.

A lot of excitement pervades this academic year in most universities as students return to the campuses for face-to-face classes. Activities such as lectures as well as making and submitting projects have slowly come out of the so-called pandemic lockdown cocoon. For graduating students, it is a sigh of relief to experience school in its physical environment before making the pivotal exit into the real world.

One of the most anticipated activities when the University of San Carlos School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (USC Safad) was given the go signal to conduct full face-to-face classes, especially for its studio courses, was the undergraduate thesis deliberations. It was a momentous episode because the first batch of BS architecture students from the K-12 system will be finishing their five-year program, which was rudely interrupted midway by Covid-19.

After weeks of rigorous thesis deliberations, one group topped this year’s batch with a bronze award to boot. Graduating architecture students Ella Loise Dabuet and Zacharey Pekitpekit ventured into the world of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and studied how the built environment can play a part in addressing real and prevailing issues in this industry. According to them, the topic on MSMEs interested them, especially during the pandemic when many people, including themselves, were compelled to look for alternative income-generating activities due to job losses and reduced income.

The research part of the thesis was quite a challenge since it was done in the third quarter of last year, when they were still conducting mostly online classes. However, as restrictions slowly eased in the later part of 2022, they immediately conducted in-person interviews with key informants in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other offices and were able to gather important pieces of data for their thesis manuscript. This led them to their thesis proposal, “Nexus: A Proposed DTI Regional Development and Exhibition Center for the Food and Creative Micro and Small-Scale Enterprises.”

Connoting a central point and connection between groups, “Nexus” translated the convergence and synergy needed among sectors like government and industries to promote economic growth.

“We approached this study by creating a unique, attractive and experiential space that informs and attracts MSEs and the general public. Through this platform, we aim to showcase the entrepreneurial opportunities that the government, through DTI, can offer to help MSEs thrive,” Zach explained. Their proposal combined a development center and an exhibition center to serve as venues for activities to help MSMEs. It featured interactive displays and conducive spaces for workshops and demonstrations for an “engaging experience.”

Truly, their thesis partnership was a testament of harmonious connection to successfully complete their thesis. After their graduation ceremonies this June, both of them are looking forward to starting their apprenticeship in architectural firms, which is a requisite to taking the licensure examinations for architects. “Having gone through the K-12 program, I could not make room for any delays,” said Zach.

“I am eager to learn more about architecture through hands-on practice in the real world,” added Ella.

One important realization of these two future architects about their future profession after successfully presenting their thesis is that it requires a great understanding of the people you serve. For them, “Architecture is not just about aesthetics or functionality, but it is about creating spaces that enhance the quality of life of the people who use them.” Indeed, architecture’s value in the post-pandemic society is further amplified.


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