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Tema - arquitectura – niños/as
Tema - diseño
1

Concept taken from ALEXANDER, C. / ISHIKAWA, S. / SILVERSTEIN, M. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, OUP (US) (1978) .

 

2

Ibid., p. 580.

3

Concept taken from the doctoral dissertation of DE BENITO, A. “La infancia en casa. La transformación de los dispositivos espaciales domésticos vinculados a la niñez desde la Edad Media hasta la actualidad”, ETSAM, 2018.

4

To My Room and Beyond!

View from the bedroom balcony… Photographer: René Burri, 1959.

Everything’s going according to plan. Some outlaws have held up a goods train. Two cowboys try to catch them. The outlaws smile: that’s what they were expecting. They press a button and a bridge several yards away blows up. The cowboy tries to bring the train to a halt from the engineer’s cab. Too late. The train goes over the cliff. Silence. A flash. The train reappears, driven by a winged space guardian. The outlaws had managed to escape, but the guardian stops them. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, a dinosaur appears. There’s no escape for them now.

We probably thought this was the beginning of a western… until the space figure turned up. That’s where we first began to suspect something. The story was invented by Andrés, a little boy who uses his toys – cowboys, trains, a rubber tyrannosaurus rex and a Mr. Potato figure – and his imagination to play in his room.  In HIS room. The place where he sleeps, plays, reads and invites his friends. It would be a nice idea if it weren’t for the fact that Andrés can’t play hide and seek there with his little brother. The height differences in the room  – a bed and a desk – are immovable in time and can’t be used as tools to modify the space over and over again when they’re playing. Andrés can’t paint or draw on the white walls he finds so boring. And what’s more, the floor is hard and cold. He can’t play in the living room, either, because there’s nearly always a “grown-ups’ meeting” going on there. The problem isn’t Andrés. Neither is it his parents. The problem is that Andrés’ house was built without taking him into account. He was considered just another adult, and he was allocated a space that’s even smaller than the space an adult needs to live his/her life in. Something’s wrong somewhere.

The child’s world can’t be just a space or a room in a home. It has to be a “continuum of spaces1 like the one Christopher Alexander proposed:

“The outdoor play area of his house into which he can invite his friends, the indoor play space, his private space in the house where he can be alone with a friend, the bathroom, the kitchen where his mother is, the living room where the rest of the family is. For the child, all of these together form his world.”2

THE CHILDREN’S REALM, Sketch from A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Alexander / Ishikawa / Silverstein

The “continuous play space”3 in the home environment represents a change that has to be taken into account in house design, which up until now has been based on a series of hierarchical, independent rooms. The play space is not the child’s bedroom. It’s multiplied and spread through the domestic space: it’s a route. And it can’t be homogenous: it must have niches that children will see as custom-made spaces where they can hide and tell secrets; flexible places that can change over time and provide furniture, storage space, height differences… or all of those things at the same time!

A “continuum of spaces” that will liven up Andrés’ games and let him create new adventures for his toys: or, better still, that will let Andrés be the cowboy Woody, climbing over the mountains in the Wild West and catching the outlaws, aided by his little brother, Captain Buzz.


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor
Notas de página
1

Concept taken from ALEXANDER, C. / ISHIKAWA, S. / SILVERSTEIN, M. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, OUP (US) (1978) .

 

2

Ibid., p. 580.

3

Concept taken from the doctoral dissertation of DE BENITO, A. “La infancia en casa. La transformación de los dispositivos espaciales domésticos vinculados a la niñez desde la Edad Media hasta la actualidad”, ETSAM, 2018.

4
Autor:
Arquitecta por la ETSAS (2017). Su proyecto final de carrera Paisajes Domésticos: sobre la arquitectura, lo social y el juego ha sido seleccionado en la Bienal de Venecia 2018. Creatividad, ganas e ilusión por mejorar cada día son características que la definen. Actualmente estudia el Máster de Diseño de Instalaciones en Arquitectura y Eficiencia Energética.

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