Origami-inspired medical facility for abuse survivors bags top prize

Folding Spaces, an origami-influenced design proposal for medical facilities for abused women and children, won the grand prize at the prestigious 20th Estilo De Vida (EDV) competition. 

Conceptualized by young artist and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Interior Design student, Donna Angelique Bihasa, it parallels the process of healing to origami, the Japanese art of traditional paper folding. 

Established in 2004 by sterling Filipino construction industry-based businessman Jorge Consunji, the annual interschool contest serves as a platform for collegiate innovators to highlight their skills and showcase their talents to industry professionals, contractors, and practitioners. 

The examination area of the container van clinic. Photos courtesy of Bihasa

The competition challenged students to create multifunctional and efficient environments for a 28.8-square-meter (sqm) container van clinic and a 24.5-sqm healthcare infirmary. These will be used as protection units for abuse survivors on their path to recovery. Entries required the inclusion of consultation, physical examination, waiting, and comfort rooms, as well as play areas for kids. 

“Similarly, in rehabilitation, every small step, every moment of progress, contributes to the transformation of the individual’s well-being,” Bihasa shared. “It is not a procedure that can be rushed, just as you cannot fast-track the creation of a beautiful piece.”  

The interview area of the container van clinic

To provide a calm and soothing atmosphere and grant a sense of balance and peace of mind, Bihasa likewise used soft, tranquil, and warm neutral colors. She incorporated fun and modular furniture – folding tables, and chairs – that offer flexibility and freedom for individuals to embrace change. Bihasa integrated canvases, bookshelves, storage solutions, toys, and a television to encourage the users to unleash their creativity and express their true selves.  

The waiting room

She was mentored by Benildean educator IDr. Candice Arboleda. Arboleda highlighted that this opportunity allowed learners to immerse themselves in an experience close to actual practice. 

“Being out there and presenting their works to a bigger audience, the conversation becomes larger with their works being discussed as more than just concepts and theories,” she furthered. 

Benilde Interior Design student Donna Angelique Bihasa (left) and her mentor IDr. Candice Arboleda (right). Photo courtesy of Guild of Rising Interior Designers

EDV granted a P150,000 cash prize for Bihasa’s winning entry. They likewise hailed Carl Valdez from the University of the Philippines (UP) as the First Runner-Up and Clarisse Abrera from the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) as the Second Runner-Up. They received P75,000 and P40,000 cash prizes, respectively. 

Seven semi-finalists, on the other hand, were also commended for their initiative and took home P10,000 cash prizes each. 

The works of the Top 3 winners will be donatxed to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, and Ospital ng Makati for their renovation projects.