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Makeovers

Students Create a Bright and Dramatic Makeover For PWDs

These interior design students hosted brunches and sold t-shirts to raise funds, and rolled up their sleeves to renovate this hostel for the disabled

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Photography: Tuloy Facebook page

This is a story about students helping other students. Because life as a student could be hard, especially if you’re juggling academic activities, financial responsibilities, and the daily struggle of commuting in the metro. But if you are a person with a disability (PWD), student life could be doubly challenging.

Bahay Biyaya in Cubao, Quezon City was created to address these challenges. The 400sqm youth hostel was built to house 40 to 50 high school and college PWD students, to build camaraderie and help the youth foster a sense of independence and self-reliance.  The hostel, which was set up in the 1980s, had seen better days.

In mid-2017, graduating Interior Design students of 2018 from the University of the Philippines-Diliman stepped in to help out Bahay Biyaya. Every year, the graduating class of interior design picks a deserving institution or organization and gives them a free, complete renovation (a makeover, rather!) instead of setting up a temporary exhibit that would be demolished soon after. The project that they launched was “Tuloy: Removing Barriers through Interior Design.”

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“The student hostel remained untouched since the 1980s, manifesting outdated PWD standards,” reveals Gabrielle Sayson, one of the class members of Tuloy. “The lounge was gloomy, poorly lit, and had a worn-out reception counter. There were minimal furniture pieces, and these were not maximized.” Aside from these, the other areas in Bahay Biyaya were run-down, and some facilities were inaccessible to PWDs, such as the overhead cabinets in the kitchen.

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Aside from approaching sponsors, the Tuloy team held several fundraisers—from hosting a Saturday brunch to selling cheesecake and K-Pop t-shirts—just to raise funds. The construction took around a month, which was a challenge as the design students were also still in school!  They used the principles of Universal Design (designing spaces that are accessible to all) to create a bright, efficient, and hopeful new Bahay Biyaya. Scroll down to see the amazing before and after photos. 

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