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Mapping the Philippines Cordilleras Rice Terraces

Information Design /  Brand & Visual Design
Project Overview
A system of artifacts that maps the experience, memory, and data of the Philippine Cordilleras Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is home to the Ifugao People. For a history that has been considered as a mythical sideline of a colonial narrative, we hope to showcase research data of peri-colonialism and highlight the capabilities of the Ifugao people for their successful resistance against Spanish Colonialism.
Timeline - Spring 2023, 7 Weeks
Tools - Adobe Suite, Figma, Maya, Blender
Team - Jacky Lococo, Elise Chapman, Jessica Lai
Located on the Island of Luzon in the North of the Philippines, these rice terraces sustained and shaped the lives of the Ifugao Indigenous community for generations. Through our research, we learned how the geographical location and harvesting rituals has created great resistance against Spanish Colonialism and how the various artifacts found today trace back to that history.
This large scale poster provides an overview of the various levels and perspective approaches to the UNESCO site. The use of 3D assets and iconography guides the viewer to understand what to expect from the remaining set of artifacts.

Our visual system is entirely created from Typefaces created by Filipino type designers.

Malaya by Samm Abella
Based on various research findings, the interactive medium creates a playful and digestible way of uncovering the layers of the Ifugao rice terraces’ physical landscape. This allows for a more clear understanding of the key takeaways compared to extensive and dense readings.
Agro-tourism Souvenir
Based on the recent increase of tourism at the rice terraces, we created a rice capsule artifact that proposes an agro-tourism program. Travelers would be able to help maintain the rice terraces and take away a small souvenir that celebrates something at a much larger scale — the journey and hard work they have put in to visit this community.
Unlike the conventional Western calendar system, we prototyped an endless cyclical harvest calendar that correlates with the moon phases. As you witness the color of the rice terraces change according to the season, you also learn about the specific harvesting rituals that are performed throughout the year.
Inspired by the animation mechanics of a Phenakistoscope, we wanted to represent the endless passing of generational knowledge through this circular motion.
Our group went through a relatively extensive research stage because we didn’t feel confident enough to move forward until we truly attempted to understand the history and culture. I enjoyed the process of reading through different papers and articles very much because I was invested in how the researchers guided their research with a strong intention of correcting people’s perception. The topic of mystification and how people’s pre-assumptions influence their research is very relevant to the act of mapping. As a reader, it felt insightful, but as a designer working with this context, I felt the responsibility of recognizing any biases that I was unaware of. More than the experimentation of a visual identity, I realized midway that I was more interested in the nuances of translating eastern ideas to a western audience. In order to fully inform a western audience, I believed that we need cohesion, depth, and a strong awareness of what voice we are amplifying.
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