Learning from Bayanihan/Dugnad



Presentation / discussion and Selection




Alexander Furunes

Files: abstract, full paper (= updated abstract)

Fragments from proceedings (‘abstract submission’)’:

Abstract. “Learning from Bayanihan/Dugnad” explores how mechanisms of mutual support can inform collaborative design and build projects. The research is conducted through a pedagogical process, acting on the learnings from previous work. The output of the research is presented in the form of a series of booklets, lectures and exhibitions. Bayanihan is a Filipino tradition of mutual support that I first encountered when building a study center in Tacloban, Philippines in 2010, and later in the reconstruction efforts following the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Bayanihan is a tradition where a group of people come together to achieve a goal that neither can achieve by themselves individually. The word alludes to the tradition of carrying each other’s houses, but the meaning itself goes beyond this effort. The tradition comes to play through collectively building homes, schools and community houses. It is also used in farming, for protection, to arrange weddings, funerals or other life events. The tradition is non-monetary and relies on trust and reciprocity. Knowing that other members of a community will support you, because one day they might need the favor in return. The work itself is a collective endeavour happening over a fixed period of time that works for all members of the community. Each participates with the knowledge and resources available to them. It is a social event that builds community cohesion and the host provides drinks and food after the work has been done. The tradition itself exists in many countries around the world, and in Norway we call this Dugnad.

My research is a continuation of a ten-year long process of working with different communities, exploring how these traditions can inform architecture and collaborative design processes. Commercial architecture is a part of a construction industry that relies on land speculation, human and natural exploitation for the sake of capital gain. Bayanihan on the other side provides an alternative platform for the profession, to become relevant and to work with communities around the world which operates outside of the commercial sphere. Sample of research work: Project for the sao Paulo Biennale, made through the brazilian tradition of mutual support, Mutirão.


Architecture, Participation, Collaboration