The latest installment of SEEDocs, the series of fascinating mini-documentaries on award-winning public interest design projects was revealed today. While the first spotlighted an incredible community garden in New Orleans, designed/built with help from the Tulane City Center, and the last on the revitalization of an abandoned, abestos-ridden school in Kansas City, this month’s doc takes us out of the U.S., to a school in a poor neighborhood in the desert city of Lima, Peru.
More info on this incredible project, after the break…
With help from a local architect on the ground and a group of professors and students from the University of Washington, students and parents at the Pitagoras Primary School have constructed a new green space – and are in the process of constructing a new classroom building.
Both are sorely needed: students currently learn in small, dark rooms with corrugated metal roofs (making the classrooms uncomfortably hot); and since Lima has the lowest green space per capita in all of South America, the community desperately wanted a park where the children could play and the community could gather.
The project epitomizes the community-participatory approach that both the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) Network, the sponsors of the docs, spouse as vital for public-interest projects such as these.
And while the process may be much more time-consuming, it’s worth it in the end. As Ben Spencer, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, puts it in the video: “I love, as much as any architect, to build a building and spend all night figuring out the details and iterating different forms. On the one hand, I think that’s an incredibly important process in and of itself, that design process. But if you can marry that with the ideas and aspirations of a community, then I think you have something that’s much richer and more beautiful.”
More Info at www.seedocs.org