The studio will focus on the ways that children interact with space; how spaces impact, limit or facilitate learning experiences; ideas of exploration and play with, and in, spaces, as well as the notion that freedom is a fundamental experience of how we define ourselves in the places we inhabit. We are interested in links between the design and theories of learning, creativity and growth – both intellectual and physical.
We will explore how these childhood experiences form our sense of community life, public space and buildings as points for social exchange. In thinking about public space, the studio will survey the sorts of places where people encounter difference, exchange concepts of value and define what it is to be one person among many, and to be in one place as distinct from any other. Within this context, the studio will also interrogate the nature of community and public space in response to the density and scale of the inner city.
Our design work will deal with play spaces and a kindergarten, community building and garden in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. We will research, visit and map key local and overseas examples in the development of kindergartens, schools and play spaces and relate them to current and past ideas of how learning happens and how it relates to the design of spaces which house it.
1. Contemporary definitions of public space:
– Children’s Space – Play, exchange, encounter and exploration
– Informal public spaces
– Openness and freedom
– Small moves – Big outcomes
2. Definition of community – how do you build community?
3. Fitting together – combining traditionally unrelated programmes
4. Landscape architecture, urbanism, engineering, architecture and government as integrally related and collaborative disciplines in building the city.