Highlighting a design ‘Odyssey’

Highlighting a design ‘Odyssey’

The ancient Greek poet Homer penned a poem, narrating the story of Odysseus and his 10-year journey home after the Trojan War. Upon reaching home, he was said to have been only recognized by his dog and a nurse.

This poem is entitled “Odyssey,” the same name aptly adopted by the organizers of this year’s University of San Carlos School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (USC Safad) Design Week, which was held from April 22 to 27, 2024. This is to fittingly highlight a fun and exciting journey of the institution that molded and produced some of the most prolific design professionals in this side of the country.

In line with the Safad Week celebration this year, USC Safad Dean Adrian del Monte along with the department chairs of the Architecture and Fine Arts and student organizations brought back the much-awaited celebration of student creativity into the public realm. After years of holding online activities due to the pandemic, this year’s SAFAD Design Exhibit is simultaneously held in the Safad Building in USC Talamban and the Activity Center of the AyalaMalls Central Bloc at Cebu IT Park.

The exhibit, which marked its 25th year, showcased the outstanding student works selected from the programs offered by USC Safad: architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, advertising arts, cinema and painting. The physical exhibit of scaled models, dioramas, advertising materials, furniture, accessories crafted by the hardworking hands of USC SAFAD students is always a delight to view with. It is a testament to the creative process behind each work, not to mention the sleepless nights spent just to clearly interpret design concepts into something tangible.

In architecture, for instance, the first-year student works features from finding exercises to simple space programming of a pavilion then progresses into the design and planning of houses to complex structures, capped by the undergraduate thesis in the fifth year. Drawing sheets document the process behind the conceptualization of space layouts corresponding to the different spatial functions, environmental and socio-cultural context and possible user behavior. This is vital training for future professionals especially in the built environment.

As a culminating event for the school year, the USC Safad Exhibit also became a venue where students, who excelled in their courses were recognized through the annual “Safad Design Awards.” Apart from that, this also gave an interesting glimpse to the colorful world of Safad, especially to senior high students, who are interested in pursuing academic programs.

With all the creativity surrounding the USC Safad exhibits this year, it is more than just eye candy. “It is not just a display of (students’) finished projects but a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence, the courage to experiment and the boundless imagination that fuels our SAFAD design community,” said the USC Safad Dean in his message. He adds that the exhibit displays the myriad of ideas and aspirations of their students, aiming to make their creativity more impactful in their respective localities, especially when they graduate or become professionals in the near future.

Indeed, the 25th edition of the USC Safad Design Exhibit is another important moment to celebrate a continuing journey of both students and mentors, as they continue to promote the value of their craft. But unlike Odysseus, these students look forward to being of service through their creative works and gain the recognition of not just a few souls, but the whole Cebuano community.


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