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Ella Feliciano

DESIGNER, EXPERIENTIAL DESIGNER

Hello! I’m Ella. Throughout my academic journey in design, where I delved into various disciplines including graphic design, print, motion, and UI/UX, I have developed a profound passion for the world of experiential design. Driven by a lifelong fascination with the transformative power of experiences, I am captivated by those that transcend visual aesthetics, enriching the soul and fostering meaningful connections. Leveraging my skills and passion for creativity and human connection, I design intricate details and make thoughtful decisions that enhance the audience’s experience and elevate the overall creative vision. Beyond design, I am also passionate about sharing my life experiences and cultural heritage with others, enriching the fabric of each experience. Ultimately, I aspire to contribute to a world where thoughtfully designed experiences touch the lives of many.

Tambayan

A communal hub and food hall that evokes the spirit and ambiance of being back home in the Philippines

Project Overview

Going back home to the Philippines for the first time in over a decade after migrating has deepened my sense of connectedness to the place, people, and culture of my childhood. Being immersed in familiar sights, sounds, and smells of home, and experiencing vibrant celebrations, the warmth of family reunions, and the joy of spending time with loved ones, left an unforgettable impression on me. Inspired by this powerful reconnection and profound experience, I wanted to create a capstone project that encapsulates these cherished feelings of being back home. I envision a multifaceted tambayan space that also functions as a dynamic food hall, offering a unique blend of community gathering and culinary delights. This project aims to create a vibrant hub where people can connect, share stories, and savor the flavors of home in a warm, welcoming, and communal environment.

Process Work

CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING

In developing my project, I draw upon the rich cultural traditions of the Philippines, particularly focusing on the essence of tambayan spaces and the central role of food in fostering social connections. Tambayan, a cornerstone of Filipino communal life, embodies the warmth, camaraderie, and shared experiences that define the Filipino spirit. These informal gathering spots, whether in homes or neighborhood corners, are where friendships are forged and memories are made. The beloved practice of sharing meryenda snacks and street foods, which provide moments of respite, joy, nostalgia, and comfort, makes food an integral part of the communal experience. These elements of Filipino culture deeply inspire and inform my project.

DESIGN PROCESS

Tambayan draws inspiration from the traditional Filipino architectural styles of Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) and Bahay na Bato (Stone House), aiming to embody the warmth and authenticity of Filipino homes. Crafting the space from sustainable materials like bamboo and stone, Tambayan aims to blend organic charm with enduring construction, evoking a harmonious relationship with nature. By integrating the airy openness of Bahay Kubo with the solid designs of Bahay na Bato, the envisioned space will offer a nostalgic ambiance, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Filipino architecture. To bring it a step further, I have carefully chosen design elements such as earthy brown tones, warm yellowish lighting, long wooden tables and chairs, natural and sustainable materials like bamboo, dried nipa pal leaves, wood, and concrete for a cozy, homey, authentic feel.

In crafting the visual identity of Tambayan, I carefully selected the Gordita font to convey warmth, familiarity, and hospitality. Focusing on the letter A, I found symbolic resonance where the upper portion represents the sloping roof of a traditional Filipino house, and the lower part embodies a table silhouette, symbolizing communal gathering and shared meals. This creative exploration aims to capture the essence of home and togetherness, reflecting the spirit of Tambayan.

Deliverables

My vision for the Tambayan space has been brought to life though two key deliverables. The primary deliverables are images that captures my concept for the space. Initially generated using Midjourney as a resource and later refined in Photoshop, the food stalls represent various categories of meryenda snacks and street foods. Each stall features delicacies meticulously edited onto the counters to illustrate their offerings. These images were then strategically placed at the back of the space to better align with my vision. The second deliverable is the Tambayan Stories initiative that provides a platform for individuals to explore and share their experiences and stories related to tambayan spaces. This concept features a dedicated bamboo wall decorated with photos in wooden frames accompanied by the brief stories shared.

The resulting images evoke a warm and inviting atmosphere, reflecting the communal spirit of Filipino culture and providing a nostalgic, immersive experience, while the incorporation of Tambayan Stories deepens the sense of belonging and community, celebrating the diverse and rich experiences of individuals and creating a vibrant tapestry of shared memories and connections.

Conclusion

Working on this capstone project has been an immensely rewarding experience, as it allowed me to delve deeply into a subject close to my heart. The process of designing Tambayan was both enjoyable and personal, providing me with the opportunity to share a part of my culture with others. Extending my experiences and heritage to others is something I am passionate about, and this project has given me a platform to do just that. Each aspect of Tambayan, from its design elements to the Tambayan Stories initiative, has deepened my appreciation for the power of experiential design to foster connection. As I look forward, I am eager to continue honing my skills, grow, learn, and explore new avenues in this field, driven by my passion for creating meaningful experiences.

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