Últimos posts
Tema - arquitectura – niños/as
Tema - Educación
Tema - Participación ciudadana
1

Vitoria Capresi and Barbara Pampe: Learn move playground; How to improve playground through participation. [issuu]

2

Klong Toey Community Lantern / TYIN Tegnestue Architects

What Happens When Children Really Are Involved in Designing Their Spaces?

In my previous post, I looked at certain aspects of children’s participation. But are there any success stories in this field? What social and educational benefits does children’s participation offer?

One interesting example is the Learn-Move-Playground workshop run by Vitoria Capresi and Barbara Pampe in Cairo in 2012. The objective there was to improve the qualities of the exterior spaces at two schools by designing furniture and providing shade in the form of vegetation. It was done using a participation method which involved children and teachers throughout the process, from conception to construction, in order to prioritise their needs and desires and achieve significant user identification with the resulting design. One of the benefits reported by the organisers was that when this identification occurs, the participants themselves take on responsibility for looking after and keeping the space in good repair. They also become more aware of diversity in terms of needs and interests.

At the start of the workshop, pupils were asked to make a collage of an imaginary world where they could learn, move about and play (hence the name “Learn-Move-Playground”). The children displayed their images and talked about their ideas and wishes, which were noted down by the architects as a series of key words. The organisers highlighted the importance of providing conceptual and artistic stimulation based on ideas and visions unconnected with the school environment, so as to avoid preconceived ideas. Collages, drawings, models… but also pre-planned games, interviews, stories and films all served as elements of mediation. Games being played in the playground were also observed to decide on the most suitable uses and locations. Later, the architects converted the class’s collective ideas into models, to confirm the ideas being proposed. The pupils’ participation in the execution phase generated high levels of motivation, commitment and also interest in learning about building and gardening techniques1.

Another notable example was the project carried out by the Norwegian architects’ cooperative TYIN to design a recreational space and community centre in Bangkok (Klong Toey Community Lantern, 2009-2011). This initiative took place in an environment beset by severe social problems. Again, indirect methods were used to involve boys and girls in the process. First, they were asked which space they liked the most in their homes. Their answers clearly showed that, for them, shade was a luxury, and this was therefore prioritised in the design. The participants were then asked to bring an object they didn’t use, but that they’d like to talk about. One girl brought different pieces of glass. Discussion about how those fragments could be used and made into hanging lights became the conceptual point of departure for the project, which from then on was called the Lantern project. Different lamps now keep the place well-lit at night, metaphorically turning it into a protective space that gathers and welcomes the building’s inhabitants just as a lantern envelops the light within it. Finally, the children’s drawings inspired the designers to surround the central space with an open, two-storey structure where they could sit, swing, climb, act out or meet2.

Why can the children’s participation in these cases be called a success? Because their involvement was decisive in the design process and created mutual benefits.  With regard to the interventions carried out, it led to the users (of all ages) identifying with the space and committing themselves to its upkeep in a regime of social sustainability. With regard to the boys and girls who took part, it provided an enriching apprenticeship in such varied issues as creativity, inclusion, co-responsibility for common space, construction and the importance of building up a community through dialogue and shared projects.

Do we want our cities to have responsible inhabitants, committed to their surroundings? If we do, lets really start involving and educating children in participation.


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor
Notas de página
1

Vitoria Capresi and Barbara Pampe: Learn move playground; How to improve playground through participation. [issuu]

2

Klong Toey Community Lantern / TYIN Tegnestue Architects

Autor:
Es arquitecta por la ETSA de Sevilla (2003) y Máster en Arquitectura y Patrimonio Histórico (2008). Primer premio por su fin de carrera en la XXI Edición del Premio Dragados. Se forma en el estudio de Ricardo Alario, con quien comparte actualmente actividad profesional . En 2011 funda junto a Tibisay Cañas, Laura Organvídez, Ana Parejo y Sara Parrilla cuartocreciente arquitectura, una iniciativa creada con el objetivo de mejorar los tres espacios principales en los que se desarrolla la niñez (casa, escuela y ciudad) a través de la investigación, los talleres de arquitectura, la realización de proyectos y el diseño de objetos. Actualmente desarrolla un tesis sobre el espacio de juego exterior en la infancia, dirigida por Ángel Martínez García-Posada. Ha escrito y presentado diversas comunicaciones sobre el playground y el juego del niño en la ciudad.

Deja un comentario

Tu correo no se va a publicar.

*

Últimos posts