Mon, Dec 03, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Design professor and students give back to poor communities
改造弱勢社區╱教授募款 學生設計施工

Chen Chie-peng, a professor in the Department of Interior Design at Chung Yuan Christian University, poses next to a wall with photos of people living in poor residential areas that he and his students have helped in on Nov. 25.
中原大學室內設計系教授陳其澎,十一月二十五日站在一面貼滿改造弱勢社區照片的牆壁旁留影。

Photo: Chiu Yi-tung, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者邱奕統

Chen Chie-peng, a professor in the Department of Interior Design at Chung Yuan Christian University, believes that service should be a core value in the field of design. Last year he assigned “Reconstructing Disadvantaged Communities” as a graduation project for his college seniors. While Chen was in charge of raising funds, his students were responsible for all of the design and construction work. He hopes to be able reconstruct at least one residential space every year to make it more suitable for living.

Most people think that interior design is simply about decorating houses, and that only the rich can afford it, but Chen believes design should take a broader definition that also includes reconstructing spaces and readjusting traffic flow. Design is not only meant for the rich to enjoy, it is supposed to fulfill everyone’s basic living needs, he says. Despite being ridiculed by his colleagues, Chen still believes that the disadvantaged also deserve to enjoy design services, because after all, differences in wealth occur merely because some people are more or less fortunate than others, he says.

Apart from learning various skills, including how to draw blueprints, paint and do carpentry, they also learn how to save on construction costs and work in situations where financial resources are limited. In recent years, many of his students have taken up his cause after graduating. One such student, who is a member of the Aboriginal Bunun tribe and grew up in Hualien County, started going home to the countryside on the weekends after graduating to help do reconstruction work and beautify the community where he grew up.

The year before last, Chen took a group of students who were about to graduate to do community service in the Chin Cheng Community in Bade City. The old community only has 100 homes and a little more than 200 residents, while each house is only around eight ping (24.4m2). Most of the residents are old veterans, families with foreign spouses and Aborigines. Chen says that he initially felt like the community was gloomy and forlorn, so he decided to take the students there to improve the surroundings, but they were only able to plant some trees and plants to make it look better and reconstruct some pavilions in the area.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. raise funds v. phr.

募款 (mu4 kuan3)

例: The volunteers are trying to raise funds to build a new park in the neighborhood.

(義工們正為了在社區蓋新公園而募款。)

2. ridicule v.

嘲笑 (chao2 xiao4)

例: They ridiculed her for always caring so much about her looks.

(他們嘲笑她總是過度在乎自己的外表。)

3. pavilion n.

涼亭 (liang2 ting2)

例: The pavilion provides us with shade in the heat of summer.

(涼亭在炎熱的夏天,可讓人乘涼。)


With better interaction between teacher, students and residents, and after receiving NT$200,000 in donations, Chen decided to have the students use the money to enhance traffic flow and accessibility in the area so houses would be better suitable for the elderly. Although they only had enough money to do reconstruction for one home, Chen hopes they can work on at least one home every year and eventually complete reconstruction in the entire community.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

中原大學室內設計系教授陳其澎認為,設計的理念就是服務,去年將大四生的畢業專題訂為改造弱勢社區,他負責募款,學生負責設計施工,希望每年至少能改造出一間更適合居住的空間。

一般觀念認為,把房子裝潢得美美的就是室內設計,是有錢才能享受。陳其澎則認為設計不應如此狹隘,改善空間、調整動線都是設計,絕非有錢人的專利,反倒是生活基本需求。雖然被業界朋友笑傻,但他認為貧富只是際遇不同,弱勢也應享有設計的服務。

陳其澎的學生除了畫設計圖,油漆、木工等技能也要學,因為這樣可以省下工錢,更能在有限的經費情況下發揮。這些年來,不少學生畢業後能響應他的理念,一名在花蓮長大的布農族學生畢業後,假日總是回鄉,改造、美化自己成長的社區。

前年,他帶著應屆學生進駐八德市金城社區服務。這個老社區僅有百戶、兩百多名居民,每戶都只有八坪(二十四點四平方公尺)大,居民以老榮民、外籍配偶、原住民為主。陳其澎說,當時感覺社區暮氣沉沉,所以帶著學生來改善環境,但也只能做些綠美化、改造景觀涼亭。

師生們與居民的互動愈來愈好,也獲外界新台幣廿萬元捐款,陳其澎因此要學生們在畢業前,用這筆錢強化居住動線與無障礙設計,讓房子更適合老人家生活。雖然只夠改造一間,但陳其澎發願,每年至少改造一間,直到全部完成。

(自由時報記者邱奕統)

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