read::zebra's

Places as Playmates: Alternative educational architecture

In Excerpts on July 19, 2011 at 6:52 am

Over on Bobulate, Liz Danzico asks what places we consider playmates:

“The simple form of a tree provides inspiration for a kindergarten space and movement as a tool for learning:

‘In “Philosophical Investigations,” Ludwig Wittgenstein writes that what children and foreigners have in common is the absence of knowledge of language and a set of codified rules. This leads them — in the first instance — to learn through the senses and the body. To give the children more freedom to move around the school, the directors of the Fuji Kindergarten requested Tezuka to design spaces without furniture: no chairs, desks or lecterns. As a result, “Ring Around a Tree” offers an architecture where there are no measures taken to constrain space, in order to liberate the body.’

And that includes the floors of the structure itself:

‘The space created by Tezuka seems to have just two floors, but for the children the building has six floors with volumes that are one meter high. The compressed spaces, which can only be reached by crawling, further the freedom of movement and ability to use the body as a means of learning.’

The tree was a “place-playmate” for several generations — a treehouse, a waiting shelter, a climbing space — before recently transformed. What places do we consider playmates, and how might they be, should they be, transformed?”

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