My School, My City
Space as a Learning Catalyst _ Paula Melaneo
In the last decades, children’s education has experienced a strong change. This is mostly due to the impact of new technologies on (daily life and) education practices. Contemporary needs and conditions for learning lead education agents to ask for a new role of space in education and pedagogy, and architects to rethink those spaces and atmospheres. The debate about learning spaces crosses a wide spectrum, from typology and program to integration into a social and cultural larger context.
Designed in an era where Time seems to be shrinking, the new learning spaces
must allow and promote different times for space fruition and social meeting: children should have time to learn, to look at/read a book, to meet, speak and play with other children. Thus, those spaces cannot be seen as mono-functional models. On the contrary they should be flexible and constantly adapt to the “outside world” ever-changing conditions.
The physical and social world around is surely an influence on the learning space and the spaces themselves, more than infrastructures, are today learning catalysts.
Playing with the Past _ Aldo Vanini
The history of architecture shows a long and continuous process of stratification and integration of new elements onto and into the past. It is this evolutionary process which has produced the complexity of the urban environment and given rise to community memory. Nonetheless, increased consciousness of the past engenders, not only in popular sentiment but as a general cultural attitude, distrust of each new alteration of a consolidated situation. However, history and memory cannot be considered static objects of passive contemplation. The formal values of a building or of an urban environment would die if deprived of the chance to find new functions more suited to the present — new functions that often require new interventions characterized by a contemporary language.
Unfortunately, this increased consciousness has occasioned a loss of the naive spontaneity with which architects of the past intervened on ancient stones. For that reason an intervention on an ancient building now requires greater sensitivity, a deep knowledge of historical processes and careful choices concerning how to add or impose new meanings and their vocabulary.
The inevitable trauma accompanying the introduction of new elements on those of the past can be overcome only via creation of a new theoretical approach. The projects here examined represent, each in its own way, a conscious and fearless approach to applying contemporary design on a historic location.