BREAKING BARRIERS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS THROUGH MULTISENSORY AND EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN
A portmanteau of Interior Design Exhibit
INDEXHI is the culmination of all the interior design courses taken by students. It is an annual exhibit that showcases an interior design project incorporating everything that the students have learned in Interior Design program since day one.
The INDEXHI class takes on a project in partnership with a chosen beneficiary–ranging from government organization to public and private entities–and addresses the existing challenges encountered by interior designers in the real world. From conception to construction, the exhibit class is involved in every phase of the project. INDEXHI provides students significant opportunities and lasting learning experiences about what lies ahead for them in the real world.
“Design without barriers” is defined as an inclusive approach for constructing spaces geared towards the specific needs of PWDs. Our mission is to enhance the quality of education for visually impaired students through exploring the principles of multi-sensory and experiential interior design. By incorporating inclusion, we aim to provide a learning environment that promotes educational technology and PWD accessibility to empower 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.
Interior design should enable and empower people regardless of their unique deviations by guiding them through their daily challenges. We envision our design as a pathway for blind and visually impaired students to learn and grow. By promoting inclusive learning and designing without barriers, we hope to make an impact that will remove the stigma of interior designs as an exclusive status symbol or solely as a visual decorative aesthetic. Thus, interior design is for all types of people regardless of disability or social status.
Philippine National School for the Blind, as the country’s pioneering and leading exponent of the education for visually impaired Filipino children, it serves as the pilot educational resource and service development center for the integration of the visually impaired into the mainstream of the social spectrum. The school caters to the educational needs of the blind as an integral part of providing general education with the specific role of actively participating in nation-building by transforming blind youths into productive citizens of the country despite their unique deviation from the so-called average.
The exploration of spaces given how these function and how these are integral to the way people live, is the process through which the Benilde Interior Design Program hones its students towards the meticulous practice of building complementary shapes and colors, appropriate light and surface, with the goal of creating sustainable and livable spaces.
For three and a half years, the Benildean interior designer-students have been learning how to design, and at the same, to be socially responsible and help the underprivileged.
Being socially responsible is one of the Lasallian Core Values that we Benildeans live by. That’s why, INDEXHI will always have a special space in the hearts of the mentors and the students. INDEXHI is the capstone of three and a half years of studying design. This is a good experience for the students to have exposure in social issues and concerns.
They share their knowledge and creativity while helping others. INDEXHI focuses on our community, particularly the nearby barangays and areas chosen by the school.
In the previous years, we have helped in the renovation of community spaces such as daycare centers, healthcare centers for the elders, and community libraries. We help our students redesign a particular area and transform the space into something that is more sustainable and livable. The feedback we get from the community has always been heartwarming and that makes us work even harder.
This year, we are partnering the Philippine National School for the Blind. PNSB caters to the educational needs of the blind and their goal is to transform the blind youths to become productive citizens. The students designed the Electronic Learning and Resource Center.
The students, with the limitations set by the COVID-19 pandemic, faced the challenge and finished their capstone project. Benildeans, once again, have proven their creativity by overcoming the limited interaction with the site and the users of the space through their eagerness to help paired with their talent and technical knowledge.
As this batch’s vision says, Interior design should enable and empower people regardless of their unique deviations by guiding them through their daily challenges. Truly a Benilde interior design vision–to create a sustainable and livable spaces that will empower people.
IDr. Katherine Anne G. Correa
BS Interior Design Program Chairperson
IDr. Ma. Celiza Sim
IDr. Randy Pabona
INDEXHI BATCH 2021
HOW CAN DESIGN SHAPE THE WAY WE LIVE?