With spaces for children, “you have the opportunity to create architecture that in many ways is unformulated architecture. Children react to spaces completely spontaneously. It is almost an enhanced architecture”, says Dorte Mandrup. The implication here is that design can contribute to forming critical thinking, encouraging autonomy, responsibility and help forge future citizens. For the most part, the educational system and its spatial expression haven’t changed significantly in the last hundred years. Nonetheless, with access to information becoming ubiquitous, the focus is slowly moving from the accumulation of information to nurturing critical thinking, and new teaching methods open up a new area of architectural experimentation. The following explores the impact of space on learning, specifically in primary and secondary education, discussing how architecture could aid the educational process, becoming a teaching tool.
Education: The Latest Architecture and News
Auckland in New Zealand has topped the ranking in the 2021 EIU's annual world's most liveable city survey. Classifying 140 cities across five categories including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, this year’s edition of the review has been highly affected by the global pandemic. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand took leading positions, while European and Canadian cities fell down the ranking.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
In this week's Common Edge piece, Duo Dickinson explores his personal journey from teaching to practice to teaching again, and the differences he perceived. Stating that "no one today believes that school can fully prepare students for what architecture will become in 10 years", the author explains how architectural education has been evolving and questions what could be the best ways to ensure that education remains relevant.
Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, directed by Benedetta Tagliabue, has won the international competition to design the Shenzhen Conservatory of Music, one of the city's 10 new era cultural buildings. Characterized by the dialogue generated with its surroundings, the complex integrates music and art in nature with a proposal of organic and sustainable architecture.
The Design Educates Awards recognize, showcase, and promote globally the best ideas and implementations of architecture and design that can educate. The design itself may provide an informative and educational layer that guides us through the increasing complexity of our environment. The objects in our surroundings can communicate important values and guide us through desirable, positive practices.
Led by architectural designers Khensani de Klerk and Solange Mbanefo, Matri-Archi is a collective based between Switzerland and South Africa that aims to bring African women together for the development of spatial education in African cities. Through design practice, writing, podcasts, and other initiatives, Matri-Archi focuses on the recognition and empowerment of women in the spatial field and architectural industry.
ArchDaily had the opportunity to talk to the co-directors of the collective on hegemonic space, informal architecture, technology, local idiosyncrasies, and the future of African and global cities. Read the full interview below.
Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian pediatrician who introduced, in the years after World War II, a new philosophy on early childhood care and learning for children up to the age of 3. It was after the birth of her first child that she began to question: what happens when a child is allowed to develop freely? The observed results culminated in the introduction of a new methodology.
The Pikler approach facilitates the free development of children by caring for their physical health and providing affection but largely respecting their individuality and autonomy. Following this logic, intervention by adults becomes mostly unnecessary. Rather, for the child to experience space while moving freely, certain care must be taken in the preparation of the environments themselves.
Salon has created a new type of campus building, bringing together education and industry. Located between two buildings of the Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul, the textile academy and a teaching block, Ecotone includes learning, flexible co-working, and meeting spaces.
The Reggio Emilia Approach was created in the post-WWII period at the initiative of widowed mothers and under the coordination of journalist and educator Loris Malaguzzi. In a time of postwar urban reconstruction, the group's primary concern was the formation of new schools, where they wanted to create a peaceful, welcoming, and cheerful environment, with a domestic atmosphere where children could stay while their mothers worked. Understanding the children's interests and providing a suitable environment for exploration and experimentation is one of the focal points of this pedagogy. The creation of a safe and stimulating environment is so fundamental that, in much literature, it appears as a third teacher.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic shifted our university—the University of California, Berkeley—totally online, along with the whole of education from childcare up across the country and most of the planet. In the wake of this forced and unprecedented experiment, debates about what it means remain ongoing. Will the episodic dream of a placeless university, or at minimum a hybrid place/placeless one, come true? Millennia of experience argue for giving higher education a local, physical anchor. And most universities and colleges have this anchor as their starting place, even as they consider what their ongoing experience with virtual teaching, research, and administration means.
It is unquestionable that environments directly influence the behavior and emotions of their users. Human beings spend approximately 90% of their lives indoors, making it imperative that the spaces we inhabit stimulate positive behavior and emotions, or at least don't influence us negatively. There exists a specific term describing the stimuli that the brain receives from its environment: neuroarchitecture. Several studies have been published on this topic, most focusing on its impact on work environments. This article approaches this concept through a different, yet essential lens: emphasizing its importance in the design of spaces for children in early childhood.
The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week hosts David and Marina are joined by Marc Neveu—Chair of Architecture, The Design School, Arizona State University and Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education; Renée Cheng—Dean of the College of Built Environments, University of Washington; and Kiel Moe—Gerald Sheff Chair in Architecture, School of Architecture, McGill University to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted teachers and students, the future of education (changing studio, reviews, and lectures), and more. Enjoy!
Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture (CLTH) has imagined a new design approach for classrooms when schools reopen as the lockdown eases in the UK. The architecture practice based in London has released an innovative concept “to help mitigate restricted circulation routes within schools and maintain the necessary social distancing among pupils and staff”.
Courtesy of the coronavirus, universities are closed around the world, and classrooms are now entertained over video conferencing. This is not overly dramatic as this temporary arrangement will eclipse after cases are contained, and classes will resume soon after. However, the impacts on the university ecosystem and on the urban fabric will require immediate renovations in higher education that will shape the architectural syllabus for years to come.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic is already creating change in every part of society. Harnessing this change should be the impetus for a long-overdue overhaul of the educational system and, in particular, the way we teach architecture.
Each day during the pandemic, we are suddenly finding what was once impossible is now suddenly possible. As Thomas Friedman said of online learning back in 2012, "Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary."
We now find ourselves in a position where we have to re-think everything to fight this virus. This pandemic will cause us to re-think learning as entire educational systems are forced to move online. In general, most formal education institutions are not producing the creative thinkers the world urgently needs. Solutions to the coronavirus pandemic require creative thinking, and how we currently teach in institutions today produces groupthink. Our path-dependent education does not get the best from individuals.
Mecanoo was selected as the winner of the international architectural competition for the development of the Senezh Management LAB. The master plan highlights an architecture that responds to its surroundings and generates a rich environment with a diverse variety of functions and spaces.