By the Manila Times May 20, 2021
Motivated with the mission to promote inclusive education and empathetic design to foster growth and development among people with specific needs, 24 students from the Interior Design Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde have teamed up to renovate the e-Learning Resource Center of the Philippine National School for the Blind (PNSB).
The 63-square-meter room houses audio-visual aids and online materials for the PNSB community, specifically for the junior and senior high school students.
The PNSB computer area as designed by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Interior Design students. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
“We aim to provide an innovative learning environment that promotes educational technology and empowers the students to go beyond their limitations. As designers, not only do we build and enhance spaces but we also create meaningful experiences for long-term sustainability,” the Benilde team shared.
The room will be complete with an announcement board, interactive walls for activities, an array of bookshelves, a computer area and a reading nook. It will house a teacher’s desk and workstations with supplies and facilities.
“Interior design should enable and empower people regardless of their unique deviations by guiding them through their daily challenges. We envision a pathway for blind and visually impaired students to learn and grow,” the Benilde team said.
“By promoting inclusive learning and designing without barriers, we hope to make an impact that will remove the stigma of interior design as an exclusive status symbol or solely as a visual decorative aesthetic,” the artists added.
The team is comprised of Pamela Aldaba, Jallf Alora, Andro Bonoan, Nina Cabral, Dan Camus, Moira Campoy, Andrea de Castro, Janus De Guzman, Katrina Del Rosario, Martin Dena, Sophia De Jesus, Nigel Delos Santos, Tommy Escay, Jennifer Gongora, Raven Landicho, Nicole Lopez, Krishna Loquinte, Se Vin Moon, Jazel Ong, Arrah Pamintuan, Nicole Quiat, Paola Sarmiento, Margaux Sia and Katrina Viloria.
The renovation project is scheduled to be completed next month.
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Once renovated, the center will be equipped with assistive features such as a braille system for digital learning to become a multisensory educational experience for the blind learners.
The center will incorporate two types of flooring — directional tactile, a series of raised, elongated bars installed to the walking surface for a continuous accessible path of travel; and blister tactile, rows of flat-topped blisters in a square pattern that provide warning where the footway ends.
Other factors considered were the textures on surfaces as well as proper play of color blocking, plus the combination of high contrasting hues for better identification of different areas, spaces and furniture.