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A long period had passed since the shoe industry of Marikina made its greatest impact upon our country. It was in the year 1887 when the city had become the hometown of footwear manufacturers (Guzman, 2018). For years, the shoemakers have developed their skills as well as their work ethic in adapting to the market demands. With great competence, the quality of the shoes in Marikina is what captures the buyers from cities around the country other than craftsmanship and artistry.
It is one of the reasons why the city is considered to have an important role in the Philippine economy.
However, the problem arises as the number of expert shoemakers decreases, for not many are devoted enough to undertake in shoemaking. People see it as a line of work preferable to the lower part of the social class due to the anticipated small income and limited job opportunities. This perception continues up to now as the footwear manufacturers have met the age of retirement.
Even if some senior natives still pursue in shoemaking, it will only be a matter of time before they have to refrain themselves from working.
One local facility that exists today is the Philippine Footwear Academy in Marikina that comprises of lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities. This recent project stands as the mark of a new beginning to strengthen its identity. However, at this state, the city is still in the process to ascend. Despite having numerous efforts handed by the government of Marikina to support the industry, it is observed that the city still lacks footwear training and production facilities that will generate a line of workers and further expansion of and market sales.
Furthermore, the city lacks in providing satisfying interaction between the locality and the shoe industry.
It is necessary to conduct this study to find out how to strengthen and revitalize the city’s identity through architecture to enlighten people on how important connectivity is.
Designing for a city must require a deeper and clearer understanding of the situation before initiating in solving problems. This research is conducted to satisfy the desire to find a better way in promoting footwear production as well as the desire to discover something innovative that will re-conceptualize how to design a Footwear Training and Production Center much more effectively and more engaging for the next generation.
The local government of Marikina together with the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) vowed to strengthen the shoe industry of the city by forming a new partnership that would generate a line of expertise in shoemaking through the Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO) and the Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. (Alcasid, 2017). Some of the aspects needed to be considered are connectivity, transparency, and visibility.
However, it is apparent that the locality lacks in recognition of potentials that the industry can bring out. There aren’t many places where people can buy locally hand-made shoes or places where they can openly learn how the natives make one. Even if there are some, are people really aware of that?
The existing shoe training centers in Marikina are commonly adaptively-reused buildings. There isn’t one that is designed specifically for its own purpose. Proper planning and consideration in footwear production are disregarded because there are no in-depth standards or guidelines to be followed in the first place. These spaces are important as they will inhibit the workers’ productivity as well as the people’s engagement and connectivity.
In response to this problem, this research is conducted to further analyze the possible options for making the footwear training and production center more efficient and hospitable. Investigations will carry out the different activities that occur in the process of shoemaking in order to integrate anthropometrics in the design. Moreover, discussions will delve on how the public and the private users/workers can connect in such a way they wouldn’t intervene on each others activity when they needed.
The goal of this project is to investigate on how to design a shoe center that will comprise of Footwear Training and Footwear Production in a more hospitable and efficient way as to promote and strengthen the shoe industry of the city. The main objective is to identify the architectural aspects that will affect the user’s productivity and connectivity especially on elements related to space planning, anthropometrics and comfort condition in the building.
In this study the processes and specific objectives can be described as follows:
The findings of this study will contribute in reinforcing the city’s identity more specifically in the shoe industry as it will be a tool in designing future projects of the same function for further expansion. The desire to increase the locale’s participation and support justify the need for more effective, welcoming design approaches. Thus, future projects that apply the recommended approach derived from the result of this study will be able to encourage more people to join in. If the inquiry is made, the possible causes or reasons for the lack of participation of the locale may be discovered so that remedial measures may be instituted to solve the problem. Shoemakers will take part in collaborative planning to gain more insights on how the building should be planned for a better outcome. This way, they will be able to work more efficiently and productive while maintaining comfort. In the field of architecture, this study will help to uncover the critical areas in designing Shoe centers that other researchers were not able to explore.
This scope of this study will focus on architectural strategies and how it can affect the users’ productivity and connectivity especially on elements related to space planning, anthropometrics and comfort condition in the building. Case studies will be examined and will be a guideline of design approaches that can be applied.
Therefore, this research asses the relevance of connectivity between the footwear industry and the locality. To know how important interaction is between the two in order to expand the possibility of potentials. To further understand, this study will also gather data via questionnaires from shoemakers and other building occupiers in regard to the interactive relationship with the public and questions about other relevant matter. The result will help in gaining insights on the preferable requirements of the users to achieve the desired outcome.
In spite of the effort to minimize the limitations, there are still some constraints that might affect the course of the research. One of which is the limitation of resources in the Philippines on guidelines in designing a shoe center. However, this may not become a hindrance in achieving the desired objective since we can collect data from the shoemakers themselves through interviews and questionnaires.
For a clearer understanding of the terms used in this study, below are the meanings:
Adaptively-reused building – a building reused for a new purpose
Anthropometrics / Anthropometry – the scientific study of the measurements and proportions of the human body.
Approach – a way of dealing with something
Artistry – creative skill or ability
Case studies – a particular example of a building project used or analyzed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle
Collaborative planning – communicative planning that gathers stakeholders and engage them in a process to make decisions together in a manner that respects the positions of all involved.
Connectivity – the ability to connect to or communicate with another person or the state of being connected to.
Data collection – the process of gathering data and information needed to support the design of the project
Facilities – a place or a building provided for a particular purpose.
Innovative – introducing new ideas or new methods
Locality / Locale – an area or a neighborhood where the subject exists
Transparency – the condition of being transparent to the public realm
Visibility – the state of being easily seen
Re-conceptualize – to develop a replacement concept of something or to think of a new way of how something is done
Revitalize – imbue with new life and vitality
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