Mapping the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
Challenged with mapping a UNESCO World Heritage Site's experience, memory, and data, our group took on the frequently mysticized and misunderstood Philippine Cordilleras Rice Terraces. The Ifugao People—creators and occupants of the terraces—have been made subject of exoticism and sidelined in the face of a narrative perpetuated by Spanish colonialism. Our goal was to showcase modern research data of peri-colonialism and highlight the successful resistance against Spanish Colonialism by the Ifugao.
Jacky Lococo
Jessica Lai

communications studio iii
+Visual Identity
With a research-forward approach, we created an interactive experience to allow users to dissect the layers of the terraces at their own pace and direction. We intend to communicate a more clear and concise view of the terraces and its peoples than to parse through dense text.

Duration: 1:04
This poster provides an introduction to important cultural concepts to the Ifugao people and to our larger visual system. The 3D assets are 'icon' versions of real Ifugao artifacts—representative but not perfectly accurate. Additionally, our entire visual system is built from typefaces exclusively created by Filipino type designers.

A special thank you to Samm Abella who allowed us to use his unreleased typeface, Malaya.

Trim Size: 19.25 x 31.75 in.
Important to our larger scope of mapping the Ifugao Rice Terraces was mapping their system of measuring time. Unlike a western calendar—divided into even months—the Ifugao measure their year through the color of the rice on the terraces. As the continuous, flowing strip rotates on our calendar, the color of the rice changes as indicated on the side, with a description of important events for the season beside it. We included a moon cycle to be loosely tied to the larger calendar to provide a semblance of familiar context for a western viewer.
In contrast to other native-occupied areas—notably Hawaii—the people of the terraces encourage visitors. This agrotourism, with activities centered around rice, is what sustains the livelihoods of the modern peoples. As a hypothetical artifact to aid the agrotourism, we created a rice capsule journey map. Travelers would have a small but meaningful souvenir to bring home, something to celebrate a long journey full of hard work.
Inspired to create a physical animation, we borrowed from the animation mechanics of the Phenakistoscope. With this cyclical animation medium, we wanted to represent the endless passing of generational knowledge.
Integral to our work for this project was the de-westernization of our subject. It would be easy for us to perceive the rice terraces from a place of foreign mysticism, but that would reinforce harmful presumptions not just for the Ifugao but for all similar native peoples. To ensure we did our best to remove our biases, this project is deeply research-based, including having met with a specialist in the field. All insight we portray in the project is not new or our own, but simply a reflection of depth of a real culture and people.