“Learn-Move-Play-Ground – Improving courtyards of public primary schools in Cairo” was a designbuild Studio in form of a summer school which took place in Cairo in autumn 2012.
During the 12 intense days of work, 11 students from Germany and 25 from Egypt worked together with a team of professors and experts from different fields (pedagogy, architecture, urban planning, landscape, and graphic design) to realise a new playing landscape in the courtyards of two public primary schools: El Kods school in Ard el Lewa and Kobbet el Hewa school in Shubra.
AIMS AND GOALS
The main target was to involve children and teachers in the creative process with the architecture students and the team, to improve the quality of the schools’ outdoor spaces, developing the responsibility of the children towards their environment and motivating them, teachers and parents to initialise further similar activities.
On the other hand, the summer school gave the students the possibility to develop their soft skills working in a cross-cultural group, to experience participatory planning processes and to finally implement their own designs.
LOW-COST, DURABLE and INSPIRING FURNITURE
The project aimed at developing furniture for playing, sitting and shadowing, out of local materials, adapted to the individual situation of each school.
Due to the small scale of the elements, they were directly designed and implemented during the 12 days, under the coaching and supervision of the project team. Children and the teachers were involved during the whole process. The fact of participate to the creation, generated a strong identification between the children and the results, producing responsibility for the future maintenance.
RAISING AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE SURROUNDINGS
The furniture was designed to be completely sustainable: by using local and recycled materials (bricks, recycled concrete tubes) and established handcrafts. This fact facilitated the process of implementation, and on the other side, gave the students the chance to get in contact with local resources. In the same way the children learnt the characteristics of the materials, their manufacturing and the way how they can be reused.