Últimos posts
Tema - arquitectura – niños/as
Tema - Formación
1

I am the Director of Little Architect, an Architectural Association educational programme in the United Kingdom to teach architecture in primary schools.

2

Autonomous Terrace: Colin Ward-Everyday Anarchist (Julio 2018)

Teaching to observe in the age of the eye

the child in the city

It is paradoxical that in 2015, steeped in sight-dominated times, that someone would feel the need to teach observation. We currently process more images than in any other previous period in history, and even telephone calls have been replaced by ‘meeting’ over Skype, in hangouts or Oovoo. Meanwhile, our emotions are encapsulated by icons sent over What’s App and text messages. Nearly nothing escapes the dominion of the eye.

Against this backdrop of hyper-exposure to images, we wonder whether we devote enough time to observing and whether we invite children to observe.

“For Italian children, cities are a scene from the car window or a window at home, or while an adult tugs them along to move at their pace” Miretta Prezza 2007.

In 2014, I dared to rewrite Prezza’s observation.

“For children living in industrialised countries, cities are scenes they intuit out of the corners of their eyes as they play with their parents’ cell phones, watch a DVD in the car, or enjoy their own iPads on the bus.”

One of the things that has triggered children’s distance from cities where they live is that they have lost their freedom to explore the city on their own. This, in turn, owes to a mixture of fears generated in their parents by media hype about crimes committed against children and, no doubt, by a clear failure in urban design excluding child and adult pedestrians alike and depriving them of their security and comfort.  The result of this lack of autonomy is that children do not enjoy their surroundings precisely during the period of their lives when they have the most time to do so. It sounds harsh to say, but we are bringing up our children like outsiders in their own cities. The problem is even more complex than their mere lack of autonomy. It lies in the lack of appreciation of this autonomy, and for a time now my work as an architect has focused on teaching to observe.1

Colin Ward, in his book “The Child in The City”2 pointed to cities as educational resources. Let’s use them!

In the face of the convenience afforded by an endless gamut of mobile devices, we should place all of our efforts in underscoring the beauty of cities, both the beauty that conforms to our current cannons and the beauty that breaks with them.

The beauty of a tiled roof peppered with chimneys and pigeons, of weary graffiti-ridden façades, of weathered bricks and bricks that still smell like new, tiles depicting figures that turn into monsters’ faces, the newsstand full of magazines, the kiss that the couple in the corner is stealing, the manhole covers, the people cleaning the windows on the glass office building, people running, people waiting to cross at the traffic light, or people lying on the street because they don’t have a bed to rest in …. 

Blanca semisótano arquitectos

A close look helps us appreciate our surroundings better, to appreciate the heritage that isn’t on any list. Observation that makes us aware of our present, that makes us spectators and actors at the same time. If we teach our sons and daughters and school children to observe, we will be helping them to be adults who are more engaged with their surroundings. In short, they will be more engaged with their urban and human ecosystem in the present and future.

 


By Semisótano arquitectos (Victoria Ruiz Garrido + Juan José Ruiz Martín). London, november 2014
Text translated by Beth Gelb
Notas de página
1

I am the Director of Little Architect, an Architectural Association educational programme in the United Kingdom to teach architecture in primary schools.

2

Autonomous Terrace: Colin Ward-Everyday Anarchist (Julio 2018)

Autora:
Semisótano está formado por Dolores Victoria Ruiz Garrido y Juan José Ruiz Martín. Tienen más de 12 años de experiencia en la realización de proyectos de muy diversa escala: desde edificios públicos a pequeños trabajos de interiorismo. Atesoran varios premios de arquitectura internacionales y nacionales. Actualmente, residen en Londres donde combinan su actividad como arquitectos con el diseño de un programa educativo en la Architectural Association (Little Architect) con el que introducir la enseñanza de la arquitectura en las escuelas de primaria de todo el Reino Unido. La labor del estudio ha sido también la de acercar la arquitectura y el arte a la sociedad, impulsando proyectos culturales de toda índole. Son Co-fundadores, de la plataforma, SCAN, (Spanish Contemporary Art Network) que promociona artistas emergentes españoles en UK. Son miembros activos de ASA (Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura) y orgullosos padres de dos niños.

Deja un comentario

Tu correo no se va a publicar.

*

Últimos posts