EDAYA indigenous crafts and design school
Baguio, Philippines
image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Location:
Baguio, Philippines
Category:
education
Phase:
under construction
Updated:
11 August 2021
EDAYA is a creative bamboo multi-disciplinary collective working in design/art, education, and community development to accelerate social innovation and promote the rediscovery of the value of local Asian traditions in a global context. Starting from preserving indigenous bamboo musical instruments of Kalinga in the Philippines in 2012 and 8-years of community work, we decided to slowly prepare for establishing a crafts and design school in 2020.
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Introduction
We would like to build EDAYA indigenous crafts & design school, which will be the first school that provides indigenous crafts and design degrees in Northern Luzon, Philippines. Starting from the bamboo crafts and music degree program, we want to expand our education to other areas of crafts such as textiles and potteries in the future. Transmitting cultural wisdom and traditions is an urgent matter in the region because they are vanishing. Young generations have no interest in those because learning crafts do not directly connect to secure jobs. We also want to change the mindset of people who historically overlook craftsmen as uneducated and poor men's jobs.

We propose to do so by creating interdisciplinary, collaborative, and creative curriculums and spaces for indigenous crafts and designs; which has been EDAYA's dream. After eight years of exploring various art/design programs and community engagement, we launch this project. Living in a time we cannot travel or work freely due to the pandemic and that people re-recognize the importance of local narratives influenced by the Black Lives Matter, now we think the right timing to develop our concrete base at the place where we started. 

We also aim for the school to serve as a community art/design and lifelong education center. Like bamboo to be considered as a symbol of connecting people, nature, and society in the region, we want our school to play a central role in systematic change for making a sustainable community.  
EDAYA Bamboo Crafts Making

image: EDAYA | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Impact
Our school locates in a 17 ha mountainous area in Twin Peaks. The mountain has suitable quality bamboos for musical instrument making, so that Edgar, our co-founder, had been visiting there constantly for the past 15 years before the owner of the mountain, the local elder, kindly agreed to transfer the land to Edgar, wishing to utilize the space for community good. The mountain has waterfalls and a river and locates 30 min drive from Baguio city, a gateway city of indigenous cultures of Northern Luzon, college towns with more than 20 universities and colleges, and a newly-recognized UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts.  

We want our school to impact the local Twin Peaks community (a population of 1,127 as of 2010) by providing good community art/design and a lifelong education program and hiring to maintain the space; for the 2021-2022 period, we hope to keep hiring at least four craftsmen who are with us now. Furthermore, though we only have a head office building under construction, we want to start developing the degree program, which aims to accept the first batch of the 2023-2024 academic year from various Northern Luzon indigenous communities. For that, we aim to create two more multipurpose buildings and call for space and curriculum development fellows from the end of 2021. 

The impact of education is unpredictable, yet sure to be there, we believe. Like Bauhaus or Black Mountain College left a legacy to this world, we want to contribute to the world by fostering the spirit of being cultural bearers among young generations. 
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Core team
EDAYA was co-founded in 2012 by Edgar Banasan and Ayaka Yamashita.

Edgar is a native of the Kalinga Indigenous community in the Philippines and a master bamboo craftsman recognized as one of the few remaining experts of bamboo musical instruments. His jew harp is exhibited at the museum in the Sakha Republic. He has released three albums so far. He was a Training Fellow at Kanazawa College of Art in Japan in 2016. He was also a visiting faculty of the “Healing Through Bamboo Music” course at the National Institute of Design, India, in 2019.

Ayaka is a Japanese researcher, artist, and activist in the field of design anthropology. Trained as a field researcher for international development projects, she conducted multiple areas of fieldwork in Asia. Those experiences have helped her reframe the approaches EDAYA should pursue; through using art as a medium, empower people by providing the opportunity to be aware of the causes of structural problems and take action. She holds a Bachelor of Agriculture (International agriculture) and Master of Health Sciences (Human Ecology) from the University of Tokyo. She is also a Fulbright scholar who graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Design, May 2021.

Other than two core members, we collaborate with various people depending on projects. Our local collaborators are DepEd, DOT, DENR, NCCA, and LGUs. We have university students volunteers who help operate workshops and festivals. Also, in 2018, we received the “Top 10 social enterprise in the Philippines ”award from BPI Foundation, which allowed us to expand our reach in Manila.
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Image gallery
Head office building 0

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Head office building -1

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Head office building 1

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Head office building 2

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Head office building 3

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 1

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 2

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 3

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 5

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 6

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Process 7

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Bamboo Bridge 1

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Bamboo Bridge 2

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Our work - instrument research

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Our work - installation in the Philippines 1

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Our work - installation in the Philippines 2

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Our work - festival in the Philippines 1

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Our work - bamboo theater in the Philippines

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Our work - building workshop in Japan 1

image: EDAYA | © all rights reserved
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Head office building 2

image: Edgar Banasan | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Help bring our project to life!

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Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
To kick off making our first building, we received a grant from the KDDI foundation in 2020. After being designed and DIYed almost alone by Edgar, co-founder of EDAYA, for a year during the pandemic, in June 2021 along with the slight Covid restriction lifting, he gathered four local craftsmen to join him.  So, our first building (head office for the school) is in the final construction stages, aiming to complete in this September. However, we need to develop more structures to fill the whole 17ha spaces we have.  For that, we are in the planning stage and need funding. We would like to design the space with locals and outside expertise and build with locals using local materials.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
5% funding already raised
50% expertise already found
50% materials / equipment already found
90% builders already found
Finance: € 3,825
We would like to make this school the first crafts and design degree program in the region. Local craftsmanship has been overlooked for a long time, but we think that wisdom from the past should be livelily appreciated in the present and pass on to the next generation.

For that, we aim to start making two more multipurpose buildings by the end of 2021. We have not raised any funds for these buildings. We are welcome to co-design the buildings together with outside experts. Using local materials and collaborating with the local community of Twin Peaks and artist communities of Northern Luzon, we would like to develop unique creative spaces appropriate for the purpose of the school.

*For funding, we state 1 months budget to complete the first building. 
  • Salary of craftsman (5 people for a month)
2,125
  • Materials (for a month with 5 workers)
1,700
Skills: Design, PR & Marketing, Financial advice
As mentioned above, we would like to facilitate the collaboration among EDAYA, local artists, and outside experts to build two multipurpose buildings. Since we are in the planning stage, we would like to gather as many ideas as possible. 

For our first building designed and handcrafted by Edgar, we added creativity by making buildings on the top of the rock, using local bamboos and woods for the interior, etc.  He also built the bamboo bridge which connects the building and the road. It was inevitable to work alone due to the pandemic, but for the next buildings and beyond, we would like to collaborate more with the community and outside experts by carefully observing the situation of the pandemic. 

Also, since we do not have experts in making architectural drawings, we would like to ask a help in documenting the process and final structure in a way others can understand. Locals have knowledge by experiences but we think those should be documented. 
Stuff: Equipment & tools
In the Philippines, we have limited equipment and tools, which makes the process of building unnecessarily hard. 
Hands
Especially, we would love to welcome the international students to help to build together. We have been coordinating cultural exchange/education programs for a decade and are always happy to see locals and international people exchange ideas and learn from each other.
Help bring our project to life!
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