We Want a School!
Vogliamo una scuola!
Rhode Island School of Design – Department of Architecture
BARCH Thesis Project
Primary Advisor: Amy Catania Kulper, PhD
Secondary Advisor: Jacqueline Shaw
We go to school five days a week,
but look at our building – it’s cold and it’s bleak.
What we really need is to step out of school:
Let’s help our brains grow: curiosity is fuel!
Historically dense, resistant to change
our schools are asleep: we need them awake!
This project, presented in the form of a childen's book, proposes a bilateral revisionist history. It intends to re-narrativize public education in Italy by critically examining the deep identity crisis of Italy’s education system. By involving children in re-narrativizing the architectural design process, this project firmly rejects the notion that children are “adults in training” or “citizens of the future.” Contrarily, it positions them at the center of the conversation surrounding the construction of a new collective imaginary for the world of Italian education. This new imaginary is focused on the fundamental right of children to be –and grow to be– happy and safe.
Within the scope of this project, the children’s book serves two functions. The first one is to allow children to enter architectural discourse by presenting this multi-step design process in a way that is easily digestible and understandable by them. Using plain language, rhymes and colorful illustrations drawn from privileged views, the narration allows children to enter the spatial proposal and understand its intricacies. The other aspiration the book sets forth is that to involve adults by allowing them to experience the “dream” of an ideal school through the eyes of a child. The utopia described by children in this book isn’t far from reality, but the story itself aims to portray the very idea that what may seem “common sensical” or “normative” to some, is far from reality for others.
Well that was a journey: learning galore!
Grown ups pay attention: you now have the floor.
Listen to children: we know what we need
it may be a challenge, but trust us to lead.
We need to be able to learn everywhere:
schools are our future, please act up and care.