Layout By Eliyah Mallari
Layout By Eliyah Mallari.

Industrial Design’s graduating batch celebrates love for design with Zenith—a virtual thesis exhibit

As the times continue to change and evolve, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Industrial Design program strives to meet these new realities head on with innovative, inclusive, and advocacy-driven products.

By Casey Delvo | Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Capping off A.Y. 2021-2022, the graduating batch of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde's Industrial Design (BS-ID) program spearheaded Zenith—a virtual thesis exhibit that puts the "cap" in some truly captivating capstone projects. Held via Facebook Live on Aug. 20, Zenith showed off 13 capstone projects focused on meeting the needs of local sectors and the ever-changing times.


The program began with a trivia-style icebreaker that tested the audience’s knowledge of industrial design history. Taking things up a notch, Benilde Industrial Design alumni Selena Placino and Miguel Topacio took the stage as the event’s guest speakers, sharing the influence of design in their careers and chosen design fields.


Entering the exhibit

As the speakers closed their dialogue, audiences were given their first glimpse into the Zenith gallery, with the exhibitors’ product presentations. Divided into the Medical and Transportation categories, each project was presented to the audience with a five-minute video highlighting each product’s features and inspirations.

Zenith’s highlight was awarding the Best Thesis Award (BTA) and its runners-up. The BTA is awarded to students whose exemplary capstone projects were not only driven with purpose and people at their core, but also went above and beyond to make the human experience extraordinary for their intended beneficiaries. 


Among the five nominees were ID118 students Pia Maghirang and Quentin Daez. Their projects—titled ”Biyahe,” a board game for visually-impaired Filipinos, and “Medishell,” a medicine organizer which helps the elderly stay consistent with their medicine intake—were lauded for their attention to detail and comprehensive solutions for widespread medical needs.


Ultimately, the BTA was taken home by three budding industrial designers. For her project, “Linea,” which is an ergonomic multi-purpose workbench for handloom weavers, Madoka Yasuda (ID118) won the BTA as the 2nd runner-up. 


“‘Linea’ began with my fascination with the art of weaving and its impact on our cultural identity,” Yasuda said in an interview with The Benildean. “The mission [of the project was] improving the existing weaving loom bench in the hopes of strengthening and preserving the Handloom Weaving Industry, beginning with the industry's cultural bearer, the Handloom Weavers.”


On the other hand, BTA's 1st runner-up, David Naga (ID118), spoke about how his capstone project titled “Natura-Aid” brought him closer to fulfilling a longtime dream. “Growing up, one of my goals was to design the future of the Philippines, and “Natura-Aid” gives me that opportunity—to make my country a more sustainable one.” Inspired by the banana leaves that grow outside his window, Naga’s capstone project is a band-aid made from banana leaves to create a sustainable and eco-friendly bridge between healthcare and the local resources the Philippines has to offer.

The cream of the crop

ID117 student Ninna Fajardo won the BTA for 3T A.Y. 2021-2022. Fajardo’s “SICAP” project is a cacao dyer that assists the drying process and enables local cacao farmers to dry cacao beans, even during the rainy season. 


"I noticed that some of the local products had international awards on their packaging,” Fajardo said in an interview as she recounted her inspirations for the project.  “It got me really curious about the industry as a whole. I thought that maybe there’s something I can do to help the cacao industry or the farmers, and while researching I found that there is still lots of room to improve certain practices, and eventually decided to focus on the drying stage.”


Fajardo recounted how getting to the BTA had been an uphill climb. “When the term started, my main goal was really just to pass my thesis class and turn “SICAP” into a design I could be proud of,” she said. “Being nominated made things more exciting and special for me.”


As for Zenith’s exhibitors, when asked about their plans for their respective capstone projects, Fajardo, Naga, and Yasuda all look forward to further improving their projects and someday introducing them to their target markets and industries.


With their array of exciting capstone projects now introduced to the world, Zenith closed with the launch of its virtual exhibit hall, which can be viewed here.