TABLE OF CONTENT
William Robert Ainsworth
subject of the seminar
list of participants
Architecture and Cultural Education: No subject for politics and public
Dr. Werner Strodthoff
A flabbergasting event - the Berlin Capial Project. Who is fixing the consensus?
Prof. Dr. Gunter Reiss
Captured in an Esthetic Paradise? Mass Media Childhood and School Life.
William Robert Ainsworth
Experience of Designer and User Collaboration in Schoolbuilding
John J. Castellana, FAIA
School Design Collaboration A Formula for Success
The Situation in Bulgaria A personal viewpoint
Prof. Liu Hongbin
Collaboration in Design of Educational and Cultural Facilities in China
The Hungarian Scene
Jerry Lawrence, FAIA
Kent High School - School for the 21st Century. Planning / Design through a Collaborative Process
The Relationship between Designers
Designer and School User Cooperation in Finland
Prof. 0lle Wahlstrom
The Design Process when Users participate
Design of the Lecture and Instruction Rooms Design of the Meeting Rooms
Design for Primary Schools
The Crazy Orchestra
Project System for the Construction of Preschool Facilities
Designers and Users
Prof. Sumant H. Wandrekar
Educational Spaces and Users
Jose M.R. Freire da Silva
New Technological Spaces Survey and Programming
The Yehud Technological Center, as a Case-Study for Collaboration in the Design of Educational Facilities
Some Aspects of the Cooperation Process between Designers and Educators
Collaboration of Designers and Users in the Designing of Schools in Poland
Prof. Anton Schweighofer
Cooperation of Designer and Users
University Buildings, Ulm
Prof. Otto Steidle & Partners
Richard Meier & Partners
High School, Gunzburg
Bühler & Bühler
John Castellana with William Robert Ainsworth, Dick Mooij and Yannis Michail
WILLIAM ROBERT AINSWORTH
I am opening this Conference on,behalf of Yannis Michail who is very sorry to be missing this meeting. So much depends on him in our working group and in the coordination of our delegates. The UIA, the International Union of Architects brings together our profession from around the world, to create a forum for debate and collaboration and to share and develop complex issues of our work. It is a very important active method of bringing about an appreciation and understanding of people and cultures around the world. I wish that in some small way it could help the resolution of the horrors that are now happening in Bosnia. Perhaps there is a message during these few days together that can be helpful in these situations.
This working group is only one of several; they are the 'intellectual arms' of the UIA, meeting every year to debate their specialised subject, in our case Educational Buildings and Cultural Spaces. As Frid has outlined, the meeting last year was in Breda, Netherlands, this year in beautiful Konstanz and in 1996 Bombay (Mumbair.
We are supported and collaborated with UNESCO, the education unit who document the conclusions of our meetings and spread them throughout the world.
The UIA meets together every four years at a world congress, in July 1996 in Barcelona. The subject being 'Present and Futures Educational and Cultural Architecture in the Cities' - and our group's work has a special place at that gathering.
Frid has mentioned that the preparation for this meeting has occu-red in a very short time due to the late cancellation of the original venue for Cairo. You are to be congratulated for the preparations in such a short period and I am sure that we will have a fine, fruitful and enjoyable conference.
Each year we gather and gain knowledge and experience from differing cultures which expand our minds and enable us to be better citizens of the world. Contributions are always full of surprise and variety which enrich our work. I hope you all enjoy these few fleeting days together.
MINISTERPRASIDENT OF THE FEDERAL STATE OF BADEN-WURTTEMBERG
The approval of the citizens plays a central part in the implementation of political projects. Especially when dealing with building projects, public authorities have to achieve the consent of the general public. Therefore I am glad that the working group of the UIA picked up the suggestion of the UNESCO and dedicated its annual meeting to the dialogue between users and architects.
Public spirit and the feeling for one's native country always are closely related with the pride of important architectural monuments. Architecture has to set trendmarks and to evolve new ideas. But it should not become totally independent and lose contact with the user. Particularly if educational and cultural institutions are concerned, the ideas of the citizens have to be included in an efficient way in the optical design as well as in the practical utilization. The early inclusion of the users in the process of defining the purposes and planning assures a broader acceptance. This is why it is the right way of procedure for future building projects.
Dear colleagues and friends,
The BDA -Bund Deutscher Architekten- feels privileged to host the international Seminar of the UlA Working Group on Educational and Cultural Spaces in the City of Konstanz.
The subject of this Symposium meets the great interest of a wide variety of collegues, educators, representatives of authorities and mayors. They come together to point out the chances arid constraints in cooperation between designer and user in the case of educational and cultural facilities and to discuss and to propose the general rules of this cooperation.
It seems that at the end of the phase of postmodermism, in a time of disorientation the architects and the puplic anew are looking for the ethics of architectural doing. If architecture is not an autonomous art but shall serve the needs of human beeings it has to guarantee the acceptance by the user.
Let try all of us to make a contribution and use this occasion going a step forward to bridge the gap between users and architects.
On behalf of the BDA and the organisation group I wish you a fruitful and inspiring seminar and a very pleasant stay in Konstanz.
All events of the working group meeting will be held at Insel Hotel.
The symposium will take place in the congresshall - Festsaal - the former church of the Dominican monastery.
Breakfast will be served in the Seerestaurant, Inselhotel.
Lunch will be served at the first two days i.e.monday,sept 4 and tuesday,sept,5 at buffet in the foyer of congresshall common with the extern partizipants; on thursday, september 6 in Seerestaurant -Inselhotel.
Dinner will be served at Seerestaurant.
Embarkment for Meersburg is - due to low tide not possible from Inselhotel - but from Konstanz harbour five minutes from the hotel. Buses for the Ulm excursion on wednesday as well as for wine tasting on thursday depart from Inselhotel.
arch. Yannis Michail
arch. Prof. Frid BUhler
arch. Heike Eberhardt
Axel Bermeitinger, business economist Sudwest Cement
arch. Hermann Bentele
The organizing committee thanks for the support of SOdwest Zement GmbH, Leonberg
VS Vereinigte SpezialmObelfabriken GmbH & Co.
Phywe Systeme GmbH
C. Baresel AG
- When designing a house or an industrial space designers meet the family or the technical staff. They discuss their needs, analyse the requirements and they proceed in the design, working together with the users.
- In the case of educational and cultural facilities, the users, and more specificaly the students and the public, find the facilities already built and equipped. Certainly, the design is done around their needs as they are studied and documented space and functional requirements, environmental conditions, anthropometrics etc.
-However, the designers very rarely have a direct dialogue with the users such as students and public, teaching and administrative staff of the various types of educational and cultural facilities.
- The main objective of this meeting is to discuss and to propose the general rules concerning the cooperation between designer and user in the case of educational and cultural facilities.
The designers are invited to present their experiences from the cooperation or lack of cooperation with the users as well as the effects and the results of the above on the final design and use of the facilities.
The users should present their experiences from the use of these facilities and should expose problems and interests.
It is pointed out here that many differences on this subject exist between developed and developing countries and different cultures.
- In particular the objectives are around the following subjects:
Curricula and space requirements
analysis of the teaching methods and their expression in terms of space and environment, similar procedure in the case of cultural facilities, how are all these determined are the users involved? cultural, traditional, academic, economic, climatic requirements: what is the practice in different countries with different social and cultural traditions, different climatic and economic conditions.
Preparation of the Architect's Brief
designers, administrators, teachers, parents, students: their role in the prepation of the brief, different stages of the preparation, how all these are organised.
new and old, designed or transformed as school buildings or cultural facilities: creative participation of the students, teaching staff and other users in the adaptation of the spaces to the educational, pedagogical and other everyday requirements, the role of the architect as an advisor and pedagogue.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1995
19.00 Welcome Meeting
for the members of the Working Group in the Insel Hotel Konstanz
19.30 Dinner in the „Seerestaurant", Insel Hotel
Sunday, September 3
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1995 - MORNING SESSION
9.00 Prof. Frid Buhler
Member of the UlA Working Group
Secretary of the UlA Working Group
Educational Architecture Unit UNESCO
Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
BDA Vicepresident, UlA Council Member
Chairman of the Regional BDA Association
Managing Director Sudwest Zement
10.00 Dr. Werner Strodthoff, Cologne Cultural Editor and Architectural Critic
„A flabbergasting event the Berlin Capital Project. Who is fixing the consensus?
11.00 Coffee Break
Collaboration Designer - User
11.15 Arch. William Robert Ainsworth Newcastle Upon Tyne, England N.N.
Arch. John J. Castellana, FAIA Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA „School Design Collaboration"
Arch. Vladimir Damianov Sofia, Bulgaria
Arch. Barbara Gonzalez Fernandez
„La normalizaciOn como via de colaboraciOn entre disenadores y usuarios"
12.30 Lunch Break
Monday, September 4 morning session
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1995 - AFTERNOON SESSION
14.00 Urs Illi, University Zurich Project „Bewegte Schule"
14.30 Prof. Liu Hongbin
„Designers and Users -
Collaboration in Design of Educational
and Cultural Facilities in China"
Arch. Lajos Jeney
„Designers and Users the Hungarian Scene"
Arch. Jerry Lawrence
„High School for the 21st Century.
Planning/Design through a Collaborative Process"
Arch. Jacobo Schneider Buenos Aires, Argentina „Designers and Users"
16.00 Coffee Break
16.15 Arch. Reino Tapaninen
„Designer and School User Cooperation in Finland"
Prof. 011e Wahistrom
„The Design Process when Users participate"
17.00 Discussing and Summing up
17.15 Prof. Peter Wilson
MOnster / London
„The User is always happy?"
19.00 Dinner at Insel Hotel
20.30 Reception offered by
Arch. Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Joachim Fischer
Mayor of Konstanz
City Planning Department
Obere Laube 24, Konstanz
Monday, September 4 afternoon session
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1995 - MORNING SESSIGN
9.00 Carl Steckeweh
BDA Federal Managing Director
„Architecture and Cultural Education"
9.30 Arch. Jan Dolejsi
„Design of the Meeting Rooms"
Arch. Joao Honorio Mello Filho Sdo Paulo, Brasil
„Design for Primary Schools"
Arch. Rita Vaz
Solo Paulo, Brasil
„A Crazy Orchestra"
10.30 Coffee Break
10.45 Arch. Lourdes Melendez
Arch. A. Eduardo Milian
„Project System / Pre School Building"
Arch. Claude Verdugo Rabat, Morocco
„Designers and Users"
Prof. Sumant H. Wandrekar Bombay, India
„Multiple Use of Spaces"
11.45 Prof. Fritz Wilhelm
BDA Chairman Baden-WOrttemberg
„Problems of the Freelanced Architects in Germany"
12.00 Discussing and Summing up 12.30 Lunch Break
Tuesday, September 5 morning session
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1995 - AFTERNOON SESSION
14.00 Prof. Dr. Gunter ReiB, Munster
„Captured in an Aesthetic Paradise? Mass Media Childhood and School Life".
14,45 Arch. Jaacov Hertz
Tel Aviv, Israel
„The Yehud Technological Center as a case-study for collaboration in the Design of Educational Facilities"
Arch. Betty Politi
Tel Aviv, Israel
review of three case studies
Arch. Irmina Sametko-Benedek
case study dealing with the main topic
15.45 Coffee Break
16.00 Arch. David Alexander Young Gaborone, Botswana
Prof. Anton Schweighofer
„Multifunctional Hall as an Example"
16.45 Discussion and Summing up
17.15 Prof. Otto Steidle, Munich
Prof. Wilhelm von Wolff, Berlin
„Cooperation between Architect and User. University of Ulm, a Case Study".
19.15 Embarkment from Konstanz harbour Reception at Meersburg Castle offered by
20.00 Prof. Olaf Harder, President of Fachhochschule Konstanz Member of Academic Commission of German Science Council Rudolf Landwehr, Mayor of Meersburg
followed by a baroque happening
Tuesday, September 5 afternoon session
Visiting several educational and cutlural facilities in the region of Ulm
among other projects:
Hochschule far Gestaltung Arch. Max Bill
University Buildings Ulm Arch. Prof. Otto Steidle
Arch,. Richard Meier
High School Gunzburg Arch. Prof. Buhler & Buhler
8,00 Departure from Inselhotel
11.30 University of Ulm
Arch. Otto Steidle & Partners, Munich, 1994 info: Prof. Otto Steidle
13.00 Stadthaus Ulm / Exhibition and Assembly Building Arch. Richard Meier & Partners, New York, 1994
Lunch at Stadthaus with Mayor Arch. Alexander Wetzig followed by some informations about the building as well as about city planning of Ulm
15.30 High School GOnzburg
Arch, Bahler & BOhler, Munich, 1993
info: Prof. Frid Buhler, Prof. Herbert BOhler
17.00 Hochschule fOr Gestaltung Ulm / School for Design Arch. Max Bill, Zurich, 1955
info: Arch. Fred Hochstrasser
18.15 Departure to Konstanz
20.00 Dinner at Insel Hotel
Wednesday, September 6
THURSDAY. SEPTEMBER 7, 1995
Chaired by Yannis Michail
Summary and Prospects: William Robert Ainsworth Frid BOhler
John J. Castellano
9.00 Workshop 11.00 Coffee break 11.15 Workshop 12.30 Lunch Break
14.00 Workshop 15.30 Coffee Break 15.45 Workshop
19.30 Departure to Meersburg
20.00 Wine-Tasting with Klaus Peter Hack at „Haus der Guten Weine"
followed by an informal farewell
During the meeting an exhibition will be presented with the winners of the „Hugo-Haring-Preis", the BDA Award for the
best architectural projects in Baden-Wurttemberg.
Thursday, September 7
List of UlA Delegates
Mr. William Robert Ainsworth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
Mrs. Maria da Conceicoo Braz de Oliveira, Lisbon, Portugal
Mr. Prof. Frid Buhler, Munich, Germany
Mr. John J. Castellana, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA
Mr. Vladimir Damianov, Sofia, Bulgaria
Mr. JOn Dolejsi, Bratislava, Slovakia
Mr. Zeev Druckman, Kiryat Ono, Israel
Mr. Wim Fielmich, Lelystad, The Netherlands
Mr. Jose Manuel R. Freire da Silva, Lisbon, Portugal
Mr. Jaacov Hertz, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Mr. Lajos Jeney, Budapest, Hungary
Mr, Thomas Jerry Lawrence, Tacoma, Washington, USA
Mr. Michel Leger, Versailles, France
Mrs. Lourdes Melendez, Caracas, Venezuela
Mr. Jodo Honorio Mello Filho, Sdo Paulo, Brasil
Mr. Yannis Michail, Athens, Greece
Mr. A. Eduardo Milian M., Caracas, Venezuela
Mr. Dick Mooij, Leiden, The Netherlands
Mr. Jorge Farelo Pinto, Lisbon, Portugal
Mrs. Betty Politi, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Mr. Luut Rienks, Breda, The Netherlands
Mrs. lrmina Sametko-Benedek, Warszawa, Poland
Mr. Jacobo Schneider, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mr. Prof. Anton Schweighofer, Vienna, Austria
Mr. Petre Swoboda, Bucarest, Romania
Mr, Reino Tapaninen, Helsinki, Finland
Mrs. Rita Vaz, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Mr. Claude Verdugo, Rabat, Morocco
Mr. Prof. 0lle Wahlstrom, Stockholm, Sweden
Mr. Prof. Sumant H. Wandrekar, Bombay, India
Mr. David Alexander Young, Gaborone, Botswana
Mr. Kees van der Zwet, Alphen, The Netherlands
GUESTS OF THE UIA WORKING GROUP
Raimund Bloedt, Chairman of the Regional BDA Association
Ralf Joachim Fischer, Mayor of Konstanz, City Planning Department
Klaus-Peter Hack, Meersburg
Prof. Olaf Harder, President of Fachhochschule Konstanz
Urs Illi, University Zurich
Prof. Dr. Gunter Reiss, Munster
Walter Schuhmacher, Managing Director Sudwest-Zement
Axel Bermeitinger, Business Economist, Sudwest-Zement
Carl Steckeweh, BDA Federal Managing Director, Bonn
Prof. Otto Steidle, Architect, Munchen
Dr. Werner Strodthoff, Cultural Editor and Architectural Critic, Koln
Prof. Fritz Wilhelm, BDA Chairman Baden-Wurttemberg, Lorrach
Prof. Peter Wilson, Architect, Munster/London
Prof. Wilhelm von Wolff, Architect, Berlin
Architecture and Cultural Education: No subject for politics and public?
Hopes and disappointments
A quarter of a century ago, 'esthetic education' with its didactic concepts founded on the fine arts was programmatically wanted to be replaced and related to the built reality of everyday life in our towns. The 'Esthetic education' demanded criticism of the social reality that A quarter of a century ago, 'esthetic education' with its didactic concepts founded on the fine arts was programmatically wanted to be replaced and related to the built reality of everyday life in our towns. The 'Esthetic education' demanded criticism of the social reality that predominates in our towns. In 1970 Hermann Ehmer programmatically formulated in the preface of the book 'Visual Communication' which was commonly known at that time: "The predominance in terms of quantity of visual mass media like photography, films, television, magazines, advertising, comic strips etc. with its immeasurable consequences demands a most important analysis - an analysis which necessarily has to be seen as being critical,"
As a result of the student's riots linked with the politicization of planning debates this critical impulse was also directed an the domains of architecture and environmental design and lead for example to the then extremely critical exposition 'Profitopolis' or numerous books and other publications of renowned authors like Andritzky, Burckhardt, Durth, Selle and Hartwig.
New didactic concepts were developed, new branches of study were introduced at schools and universities. After years of enthusiastic discussions about subjects of everyday life, town planning and style of living, the interest in those rapidly decreased during the eighties; in the course of the so-called postmodern architecture the critical impulse turned into a rather affirmative reception of the developing esthetic concept of building.
Meanwhile it can be said that architecture as well has been discovered long ago as a mass medium and it has been subdued to the rules of commercialisation of mass media. But it is rarely analysed in a socio-critical way. With reduced awareness public attention is focused on the surface and outfit-design, without asking about the structural quality of the building behind the visual ones. Meanwhile the links between urban context and individual building, between social qualities concerning function and concepts of design, between functional and constructional innovations that are necessary for a competent discussion of the architecture of our time, seem to have disappeared, to have almost vanished as a parameter of public discussion.
Failures of the past
"The cultural dimension has to be invigorated in all educational institutions. Cultural education is part of general education: Education and culture have to be understood as one unity again. The actual discussion in cultural and educational policy is determined by a phase of change with great social upheavals. We are looking for answers to the development of the industrial society to a cultural society: What is future going to look like and which abilities are going to be asked for the mastering of the shaping of future?"
Almost ten years ago, the Federal Minister of Education Dorothee Wilms described the aims of her 'political offensive' with a lot of farsightedness and apparently ahead of her time at the congress 'Education and Culture in Europe' which took place from the 14th to the 17th september in Trier. She already saw questions and problems which today are waiting more than ever for an answer and a solution and which, after the reunification, have made plain the gap between the claims and reality:
-Society has long since been determined by new technologies of communication and information; information and cultural programs become available for everybody to an extent not known up to now.
-Concerning economy, far reaching structural changes have already taken place. Data-processing machines replace more and more human beings in the production, distribution and administration. The technological changes have social consequences on the environment of everybody.
-Work has lost its predominant, determining role - during gainful employment through inreasing reduction of working hours and a more flexible working time as well as after retirement and the so-called third phase of life.
-The new technologies themselves restructure employment: There is regrouping as well as structural changes concerning the branches of production and services.
-Questions about the sense and a sensible organisation of life, about spiritual orientation, about social responsability and cultural creation are asked with new vehemence.
What did ensue from this knowledge? Apart from many discourses about architecture and town planning there were almost no deeds. It is true that art, culture and education have a common point in the human organisation of life and environment, but when they should mark developments and changes, new conditions of life and changes concerning the relationship of human beings with their environment, questions about the organisation of environment seem to have been left out of account by politics.The mother of all arts architecture - scarcely has its place in our rich cultural education maybe apart from art classes at school or in adult education classes
-in most cases trite courses where common places are spread out.
This cannot be changed by the well-shaped words of Jurgen W. Mollemann, the successor of Dorothee Wilms, in the documentation of the congress in Trier which has only appeared in 1988:
"I am convinced that we can only master the challenge of future, if we develop also the artistic and creative impulses in everybody. But above all, art and culture are but intensifications of human capacities, necessary reflections of human life without which the development of personalities would be but incomplete. Art and culture cannot be separated from education, cultural education thus becomes an indispensable part of our educational policy."
Neither these sentences nor the 'political offensive' which failed to appear can possibly be related to architecture, because it does hardly appear in the plans of most of the educational institutions of the ancient and new Republic, although good architecture is neither cultural extravagance nor superfluous decoration but sheer necessity. In a situation where emotional and non-measurable needs of people cannot be satisfied by simply building, architecture is necessary, a fact that has already been recognised in 1981 in the declaration of principle of the BDA - 'Architecture - the art of building with social responsibility':
-Architecture creates the surroundings for human deeds and experiences.
-You cannot escape architecture. It surrounds us. We live in and with it as long as we are living in human civilisation. It is part of the human struggle to find culture that surpasses civilisation.
-Architecture always determines human behaviour - by characterising the space of human living, it helps to organise this life. Thus architecture is not aimless.
-Given the fact that human beings are social beings, architecture is always constructed social creation.
-Architecture which is directed towards humans and society, has to try to be comprehensible. It has to search for the discussion with society. It has to offer communication.
-This only can make it possible that society identifies itself with its constructed environment by recognising and accepting its social offers.
Problems of the present
But how can members of our society find knowledge, understand the correlation of things, learn to live, to read architecture, to experience towns and to require consciously quality concerning form and environment? What kind of cultural uplift is offered to citizens and their children in all those 'cultural stations' - schools, adult education, museums and galeries or in the print medias, radio and television? More or less nothing. In the educational plans architecture and town planning, questions about the organisation of life, work, freetime and above all environment are rather minor topics - as well as in the adult education programs of the innumerous public institutions, newspapers and magazines and in the programs of the public and private broadcasting companies.
How can citizens participate in "the affairs of their town" under these circumstances? How can planning-culture or even design culture develop in East-Germany after the fall of the socialist state if the scene is dominated rather by non-culture and wild-growing? The result is rather sad all along the line: The state has failed to a great extent and with him his competent citizens, where architects and their professional representatives can be cited as well, who did not achieve in bringing about their ideas, probably because they have acted in a too unpolitical way and because they have passed over their memorandums and slogans with much to little force and rilliance to the media that only react on spectacular events and catastrophes and that do not think that normal, evident things could be apt as a headline or could increase circulation or audience rating. Culture, cultural education, planning and building culture? Not only politicians have other problems at the moment. During the past decades, building was an economic process on the whole. In those days as well as today, architecture has not been considered to be a cultural phenomenon. In addition to this, our country, the strongest economic power in the European Community, suffers from a general cultural inferiority complex which is particularly distinct in the field of architecture. Because of the inability to present itself internationally as being a cultural nation, this republic, this Germany which in the meantime has become bigger and richer, affirms once more the opinion which is spread over the rest of the world, that it is no longer the 'country of poets and thinkers'.
For mental, particularly architectural work is rarely noticed in times of social and economic change. The term of creativity apparently is only used and understood if connected with advertising or sales promotion. It is rather a non-relation with art, architecture and culture that unites all political parties.
But it is not only the state that is indifferent towards quality of design, it is also his representatives, our deputies, the whole nation. This has almost become a basic attitude which scarcely leaves a chance to architecture in our country. Even for those who see themselves as educated citizens, architecture is not a subject worthy enough to be considered. Millions of people can live without it and apparently they don't miss anything. The meaning of architecture for people and human community has largely been ignored by modern political theory. The stunted ability of perception - particularly in the ancient GDR - is now inevitably followed by an impoverished environment. Art, as well as architecture is not a part of life for the majority of the Germans and therefore it is dispensable if necessary. Given that fact, all those dull houses and many of our towns are the only possible consequence. Although architecture concerns everybody, those that are the so-called concerned by plannings, still know too little about their concerns and consequently they are not able to articulate them. "Being deformed by a dull environment, too many are already used to accept ugliness as being necessary." (Wilhelm Kiicker, in: Der Architekt, 10/1986, p.421)
Architect and the public have more and more drifted apart from each other. Nowadays architecture is almost understood by architects only. "Even for the social elite it is long since no longer a subject noteworthy, apart from the gossip in high-gloss-magazines that give subjects for parties." (Wilhelm Kucker) Certainly not intending to do so, the protagonists of the modernism have only deepened the gap of communication with their search for innovation based on their refuse of presuppositions. The broad public is uncomprehending towards the architecture of its time and in most cases rejects it s it can be seen with the example of the new assembly hall of the German Parliament.
During the past few years, architects surely have been searching again for the cultural common points that had been lost, because architecture that takes its social responsibilities for serious has to strive to be comprehensible for everybody. But not everything - and this is the difficulty that can scarcely be resolved - can be comprehensible in the same way for everybody, because the knowledge that is indispensable for comprehension differs and most of the people don't have it. The fast developments help to increase the gap between architecture and public. So the individual has less and less time to get acquainted with new phenomena, to include them in his pretended architectural store of experiences and to get used to them.
School, the general educational system, fails completely if it comes to promoting comprehension of the basic questions of architectural environment. These questions apparently are not part of the cultural educational program. But it is precisely at school where this should all begin. It is the first and most effective opportunity to stimulate the sensibility, willingness and ability for participation in this common process of designing the environment.
In the field of adult education - as Paulgerd Jesberg has already pointed out in 1988 - there are missing concrete offers concerning the teaching of
-architectural and esthetic knowledge and abilities
-knowledge of social correlations of building and living
-historical education concerning space for living, culture and landscape
-faculty of judgement in the field of design
-knowledge and experience of the perception of personal and general interests in the course of participation of citizens.
The few offers of adult education classes, two or three architectural museums, some private galeries and few district and citizen's offices are in this respect as little sufficient as the offers of the information centres for building and living.
In the field of media the regional newspapers and the overflowing mass media must be criticized rather than the supra-regional newspapers. If at all private broadcasting companies deny their cultural and educational task, at least the public companies should not only fulfill their function of reporting, but also their tasks concerning information about cultural education. But what will happen if we all will be totally manipulated and equipped with cables by Bill Gates and his friends? 500 television programs? Is that 'Apocalypse now'?
Consequences and demands
The actual situation can only be improved if a bundle of measures and strategies can be realised on many levels with the acceptance and support of those that are responsible in government and society:
-Introduction of classes (Design, Living/Working, Architectural History, Town Planning) at schools furnishing general education, by architects as lecturers and allocating of funds
-Extension of the specific educational offers for the interested public in the course of adult education (course and lectures organised by adult education institutes, universities, professional associations and organisations);
-extended organisations of expositions, collections of models and consultations;
-Promotion of new projects like for example the German Centre for Architecture in Berlin and the foundation of municipal platforms and galleries like for example the Gallery for Architecture and Work in Gelsenkirchen;
-Realisation of 'town walks' (example Viernheim) and municipal cultural projects ('Pleilsse ans Licht' in Leipzig);
-Support of works in accomodations in housing estates;
-Creation of new professions (Renovation Consultant, Advocacy Planner, Building Consultant).
-Application of new media (CD Rom, virtual reality);
-Cooperation of educational institutes and architectural associations.
Cultural education and architecture
Connected with the congress entitled 'Perspectives of cultural education' that has taken place in November 1993 in Potsdam, and another symposium with the same topic in May 1995 in Essen, the German Council for Cultural Affairs has passed a statement cited in the following:
-The participation of citizens in planning their environment requires esthetic and cultural competence. The ability of criticizing and judging of the citizens must be strengthened and their opportunities of influencing the design of their environment must be enlarged. This presupposes a sensibilisation for this necessity in all branches of our cultural and educational systems. This is directed towards those who are dealing with architecture and townplanning, those responsible in politics and administration as well as the cultural and educational institutions, schools and others.
Schools have to begin to promote -the will consider more often with the branches mentionned above and ingness and the ability to participate in the common process of designing the environment. Historical, esthetical and social correlations in design and architecture have to become topics in the offers made in the adult education as well. Cultural institutes (like museums, galleries), cultural-pedagogic initiatives and media should take a position of intermediary between users and professionals in architecture and town planning. In order to be able to enter into discourse with the users, architects and town planners have to be taught more thoroughly during their formation the needs of the user and social correlations.
In order to be able to realize the demands postulated in this statements, politics and administration have to create the framework needed. Concerning this, the curriculae of schools have to be complemented. This applies as well for the curriculae at universities in the formation of architects and town planners.
The qualitiy of design of the environment, which can also be understood as means of preserving the environment, can only be assured and developed by cooperation of everybody concerned. This ensues that the european process of unification and the growing internationalisation of cultural, medial and economic processes connected therewith have to be considered.
Dr. Werner Strodthoff
A flabbergasting event - the Berlin Capial Project. Who is fixing the consensus?
Pericles made the beautiful observation "Even when we are doing different things, in the actions concerning town everybody has his very own opinion. To us, someone who does not take part in the affairs of town, is not a silent citizen, but a bad one." As we know, Pericles was living in the 5th century B.C. - the classic polis was in its full bloom.
Change of time. - Participate, taking part, not only in public affairs is a part of the basic conditions of human and thus social, political and cultural existence. More than 2000 years after Perikles - the town has outgrown us long since and busting at the seams - the social sciences introduced the term "Participation", we are still occupied with here and today in the debate of forming opinions and influence and ask for its practical realization.
It was the time of the student's revolts, in Germany we had the coalition of the Socialists and the Liberals, the programmatic rejection of of reluctance to experiments of the fifties and sixties. At that time Willy Brand was talking about "daring to have more democracy", the mature citizen" was a formula often used. This was also the time where Gunter Behnisch's warning of the big "Apparatus", the powerful, those who make short process on the back of the many little ones, that was so often repeated later on originated. The Olympic games of 1972 were supposed to be 'cheerful'; this meant moving, with multiple formes, colourful and flexible. Transparence was - of course in naive abridgements - a synonym for "democratic", communication seemed to be planable to many people in the time of the open-plan offices.
Futhermore, "Participation" got actually for many people, especially for architects, the importance of almost a magic formula during the seventies. Probably also that of an alibi concerning one's own lacks and iritated orientation in face of radically changing conditions of production and the loss of the individual client.
The crisis of their own profession and the way it sees itself, which has so often and not seldomly masochistically connotated ever since manifested itself clearly and openly for the first time. For from now on, the architects themselves have been concerned more and more with the problems of a participation adequate to their profession in the planning and building process, with identity, fulfill of personal existence and securing living wages. But more about that later.
At first many people, with the help of the sociologists, believed in having, found and discovered a way how a better, more human world could be built and furnished, a world in which identity and individuality would come to its rights. "Participation" promised taking part, clearness, feedback, consideration of the experiences and desires of users and inhabitants. Anonymity, the princple 'Either eat or die' was to be overcome. Enthusiasm of planning began, interviewing citizens was on the schedule, statistics were made, discussions were held - architects tried to take the role of social workers and sociologists took that of architects.
Let us remember how all this became an issue : In 1965 Alexander Mitscherlichs report „ The Inhospitability of our Towns" was published. What other people have been aware of before him, what they had even prognosticised darkly, the psychoanalyst from Frankfurt got to the point. The anger in view of all those satelite-towns stamped out of the soil, those ill-reputed huge edifices built of concrete with their poor infrastructure, this proverb for monotony, anonymity and social coldness had become common and reached the boiling point. Total renewals, the demolition of historical structures in favour of objects of speculation became a thorn in the flesh of more and more social strata, the destruction of old town structures was complained rightly as a deep cut also in the psychological health of man, who clings to his grown environment and his historical testimonies: "Identity" was the second magic formula apart from "Participation".
In a publication of 1982 with the programmatic title "Human Building"- later people talked of "New Building in Ancient Environment"- it was said: "The expertocracy, the power of the specialist's administration has taken over the power of the parliaments, because the living together in a modern industrial society becomes more and more varied and complicated and can only be overlooked by the administration - this happened on the level of federal, regional and local authorities. Here, planners often loose the most important part out of their sight, simply because of specific knowledge, ways of thinking that have become independent and which are purely functional: man and the quality of his life. People ignore the fact that the appartment without bathroom and waste-disposer built in the thirties is more valuable for an old couple than the smooth, modern, concreted comfort. It is 'often forgotten and ignored that both - planers and their science, but also citizens and their local knowledge - have to come together if all parts of life are supposed to be considered." ( By the way, later on concrete has been declared to be a material that has virtually become guilty - later, during the postmodern era, classical orders of columns were subjects of a similar crime...)
Out of such descriptions and above all Mitscherlich's remarquable analysis of causality and effects in this country the conclusive demand arose to build more humanly, more comfortable, not against, but with and for people, not against town, but with respect for its history and its grown spaces. "Participation" of those that were concerned has been admonished, as well as to take into account of the planning process even potential users, especially in the case of house-building, public buildings like schools, the-environment of living. Ten years before in 1975, the European Year of Protection of Historical Monuments has been proclaimed, Mitscherlich who had the destruction of the westend of Frankfurt, a typical historical housing estate which was caused by sheer speculation, directly before his eyes, reminded of the fact that 'old cities have a heart'.
This was at the same time an invitation to consciousness , a refusal of further supersessions, a warning to stop at last with the destruction of ancient structures of towns and thereby with human values of remembrance and identification which had been carried on for decades after the Second World War in Germany. It was also a question of 'the salvation of the towns' which was often proclaimed at that time - a question of preventing the effect that more and more people were to be driven out of the town-centres and estates that had become inhospitable to the anonymous outskirts.
The criticism on the development of our built and often already built up environment reached from then on more and more sections of the population. In 1971 already Josef Lehmbrock and Wend Fischer had set up the exhibition 'Profitopolis' where they demanded - in vain - a reform of the property laws, being the basic condition for human building and a town and environment with more social justice, and eight years later, in 1979, a second exhibition followed, entitled 'From Profitopolis to a town for the people'.
There, the authors, looking back at the seventies, did in fact state: "A policy that is more and more exclusively fixed on economic questions and reduced to the promotion of the quantitative growth of production and consumption, continues to determine the priorities and limits of the developments of our towns." But they also state positively: "In an increasing degree citizens oppone against measures which ignore the laws of life of man and nature, and push through demands which are orientated towards the priority of human needs, beyond the limits of pretended ecological and technical compulsions."
In the same year, in 1971, in West-Berlin the International Exhibition of Building IBA took place. The aim of this process of 'exhibition' which was set up to be longlasting was to try and push 'repairs' of different parts of the inner city in favour of its inhabitants and with the respect of the history of this european city. 'Participation' on one hand - remember Hard Walter Flamers 'Cautious Renovation of Towns' in SO 36, Kreuzberg - and 'Critical Reconstruction' on the basis of historical plots on the other hand Josef Paul Kleihues' part up to today - are decisive for the double strategy of the IBA. Both of them were overdue, both urgently necessary, both legitime, but also very troublesome.
Let us make a cut now. Without wanting to go on to recapitulate the past 25 years in view of sucessful or failed models of participation and the hopes and disappointments associated with them, we had to confess long time ago: the majority of the hopes, which had been connected with the term of 'participation' of potential users which was also strongly connotated ideologically, have all vanished together with that ecstacy of planning. In practice, almost nobody talks about participation any more, at least not about the one which included active participation of citizens in the process of planning and building. The need to stick to models of participation here and then - especially with ecological premises - is honorable but in fact it doesn't change the practices in the year 1995.
It is true that a hot-tempered debate about sense or nonsense, the illusion or confusion of a participation of that kind of those that are concerned has taken place. But strictly speaking, not few of the architects that took up the matter and faced the problem were also and not least concerned about the stabilisation of their own understanding of themselves. At the beginning of the IBA - a reaction also concerning the international developments - roughly speaking two parties that were opposing one another were formed: Those who believed that starting with social responsibility, by spreading the right of co-determination during the process of planning as much as possible, they would able to help their understanding of themselves being architects, and the others who, like for example Josef Paul Kleinhues or Oswald Mathias Ungers, conjured in contrary the renaissance of the artist-architect and his pretended autonomy in order to overcome the crisis of their-profession. While one party called themselves "Planners", the other party introduced the major A in architecture. The last was not compatible with "Participation" in its social meaning
The controversal discussion of the parties and their journalistic appendixes goes like a red thread through the past two decades. The journal "Bauwelt" entitled one of its especially programmatic editions in January 1978 "Positions-Oppositions". There, the ones imputed to the others to make themselves and their profession unnecessary by exaggeration of "Participation", by which they understood chumming up to all sides, even incompetent ones. And the others imputed to their opponents, and they still do today, to follow hollow formalism and dated historism up to reaching little suitable idols of the latest past. Nevertheless there is no doubt, with the postmodern era, which had reached Germany since Stirlings National Gallery in Stuttgart, the retreat of the social workers amidst architects had begun earlier than could have been suspected in the beginning of the middle of the seventies.
But the biggest reasen for the failure of the whole movement of participation was, that sociological jugdements are one thing, but planning and building, the more under economic compulsions and expectations are something quite different. Felizitas-Romeiss-Stracke stated in 1995 in the BDA -journal 'The Architect': " The connection between sociologists and architects has always been difficult to define. Flirt, passion, disappointment, hate - everything was there up to resignation and the ignoring of each ether." Nowadays it seems to her, as if the rest of the relation was in a phase of being forgotten, as if all those books, discussions and also practical teamwork never had been there. "Mitscherlichs 'Inhospitality' has long since become 'Irreality'. This is even more true today, but there is no question that all that arguing, the uncertainties, the exaltations of the whole debate about participation or designer-autonomy is in its roots related with the dialectic character of architecture as an "autonomous" work of art on one hand as described by Adorno in his "Aestetical Theory" - and a 'fait social' on the other. The social piece of art architecture cannot be realized as a model neither by enthusiasts of participation nor by self-appointed palladios of the branch. We are obliged to a symbiosis, to teamwork. This is true for architecture as well as town planning and for all participators of the process of construction and those who are concerned by it. This includes control by the public through media.
Today after years of misunderstandings of the possibilities of approach of two disciplines like sociology and architecture, not sel-domly pampered with relish, it is easier to show the differing points without any emotions. The sociologist Walter Siebel recently stated: " Architects and sociologists speak different languages - or better, they use different media: The ones use drawings/spaces/ buildings, the others use words/terms/texts. In between there are no exact translations. Architecture creates spaces and especially successful architecture is bound to the language of the spaces... Behind this problem of translation there are the objective distances between social life and the spaces in which it takes place. Attempts to overcome this distance by creating spatial structures especially for certain social functions, have led to a very dull architecture and uncomfortable sketches." So far with Siebel.
Ladies and Gentlemen - all that explains a lot about the failure of all attempts of approach as even well-meant as they were. The distance cannot be bridged. Good architecture does not at all depend on "Participation" by interviewing users.Certainly this does not exclude sensibility of the architect, endeavour to plan and built close to human needs. In contrary: it increases his responsability, which naturally has to be left to him and be admitted to him.
I think that today the issue of "Participation" has to be seen quite different than 20 or 15 years ago: The architect does not lack the experience of the potential user, but the individuality of the owner of the building. The free architects suffer from this and together with them the product and us all. Owners of buildings who are feeling responsible and who are active are replaced by various building societies, project developping engineers and universal entrepreneurs. During financial crises public authorities as well, towns and municipalities, tend to give up building in self-responsibility, they rent or lease buildings, exercise public private partnership. This is participation today. And we know how such changements and shifts as well as the number of projects that are financed by
vagabunding capital we have in the meantime can influence the variety of the public space, the character of streets and places: quite destructive. Even the construction industries themselves do not give a share to the architect any more, as the architect Walter Belz once
deplored. And he is often replaced by the leader of the project during construction. Belz says: "Today almost no part of the building is constructed after the plan of the architect. Special engineers deliver the definitive instructions. Workshop drawings of engineers of the company give the definitive orders. . .
This means that long since the question is whether free architects recognizably participate in the process of building. Under such circumstances scarcely anyone dares to dream of the social utopias of the seventies. When the question of existence comes up, social seminars come to their end. This can, this must be regretted - at least at the moment it cannot be changed especially with regard of the size of the projects of today. Here as well a change has taken place. And RomeiB-Stracke is quite right, when she postulates: "We are so much occupied with, that we have little time and strength to think about the relationship between building and society. The time and strength, which is available is used up with the discussion about public buildings and the new german capital. This is fascinating, that's where big shots are asked for - but it has little to do with the every day life of people in West and East.".
This is where we finally come to the issue of Berlin - "The Project Capital": Who decides what consensus means? Concerning the buildings of the federal authorities, in representative democracy it is not directly the people. To change this would be illusionary and not practicable. But in this context, the question, whether capitals in the 3rd milenium p.C. and under the sign of increasing supranational institutions and levels of decisions are at all reasonable especially when they are newly founded is not even asked. But this is a question that should not be discussed here.
The problem of "Who decides what consensus means" is striking, especially in face of the massive, expandive private building projects in private hand in the centre of Berlin and around the 'Potsdamer Platz'. It is true that there were investors before - without them the metropolis would not have come into being, but the scale of the different projects in the urban context, the concentration of the ownerships in comparatively few persons, the monostruc-tures concerning use and appearance which hereby arise almost inevitably - all this gives sufficient explosiveness to the issue. The hide of the bear has been distributed, the high and mighty stay among themselves - in most cases this also is true for the bureaus of architecture - the available buildings are not, as it was done formerly, parcelled - whereby a natural participation took place so to speak - no, today they are - the term expresses it - sold by the owner en bloc to investors. Probably it is nothing but window dressing when the so-called Hofgarten-Project near FriedrichstraBe is done by several architects at the same time. Usually it is massive big buildings, particularly office buildings, planned on historical plots but not with respect of historical structures of allotments, that stratify behind punched stoned fronts.
With great difficulty the senate, after having sold below its value in 1990 to the Daimler-Benz group the trifling matter of 75.000 square meters that were before public spaces between Landwehrkanal and Potsdamer Platz, succeded in including 2 0 % appartments into the programm of utilization. And after the big contest of ideas in town building for the whole territory - with Sony and ABB - a contest of realization for Daimler-City could be organized. The results of this contest that was convoked in 1992 and won by Renzo Piano were available in 1993. At that moment it came to light in passing that the North-South-connection of the territory that was formerly thought to be an open space, was now to be a roofed passage. Thus the former public space becomes a semi-public space. Although the different projects are planned by a couple of various international renowned architects - but such a mixture is not necessarily a guarantee that a piece of lively city will really be created at this place. Urbanity simply needs for its development a certain mixture, including a breeze of chaos, which probably won't have a chance in the eyes of an group that is interested in efficiency.
But let us not croak. "Urbanity," concluded once the above mentioned Walter Seibel "has to develop itself, it is the result of social processes, which take a long time. The european city looks back on more than thousand years of history, in which its specific urbanity could develop itself. Newly built quarters of town will not develop urban quality for a certain time, simply because it takes time to develop it. Surely there will be scepticism and the former director of the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt, Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani could bring in his preface for the exhibition to the 'Potsdamer Platz' in December 1994 of which the contents were determined by Daimler Benz December 1994 nevertheless a touch of scepticism, while writing: " We present a laboratory of the New. The scientists we observe at work and whom we let be observed at work, don't work under easy circumstances. They have to create variety, where the legal positions are completely homogene. They have to create unity within this variety, having all technical possibilities as well as those concerning design. They have to produce individuality, though they are submitted under a standardized programm. They have to copy gradual and harmonious growing, but are under a great pressure of time. But the main task is: They have
to make possible lively urbanity with a project whose plans of utilization are in the most determined by rentability and therefore is
directed to the exact opposite. Nevertheless: The Daimler-City in the city is to be realized in 1998, reporting nearly 340.000 gross square meters and costs of about DM 3 Million.
Neighbour Sony only decided in the September of this year, after long hesitations to begin with the construction of the Sony-Centre they had projected with the design of Helmut Jahn: The so-called "clou" of the center is an overdimensional huge roofed centerworld which contradicts the idea and reality of the euorpean city which was often cited during the contest of ideas in town planning with its public streets and place spaces. The projects starting signal of ABB keeps us waiting. The big project demonstrate, that the scope for decisions for citizens, even for towns and municipalities whether Berlin or somewhere else, has become dramatically small. One takes what comes and usually submits to the desires of the investors. Everything else would probably be irrealistic at the moment - at least ecological calculation are considered. The participation of the public in such projects in the heart of our towns probably has in facto never been smaller than today - this can't be denied even by so-called town-forums, various publications and reports in the medias.
And "Berlin Mitte" (The historical center)? The same image occurs. And what cannot be put into it as a autonomus floore because of the height of the building regulated by a historical law in Berlin, is added as a penthouse at the top of the building, like f.e. the 'Friedrichstadt Passage on the Gendarmenmarkt' shows clearly. The scheme of using returns stereotypically: Magasins at the bottom, above this a lot of bureaus, although the bureau market has a bais-se at the moment and the traditional bureau building architecture increasingly is put into question - and for completion a few penthouse appartments - at least 20% of the respective volume. The users have names like Real Estate,- Amsterdam, Aufbaugesellschat GbR, TCHA-Grundstucke Berlin an so on. The architects not sel-domly have the same names above all Kleihues, inventor of this "Critical reconstruction" of the town even in IBA times and since the fall of socialism very influential „Spiritus Rector" even of the planning officer of the senate Hans Stimmann.
And going further over the "Spreeinsel" - where the fate of the only popular building - the Palace of the Republic seems to be sealed to the Alexanderplatz. There too, the event concerning the building of our new capital takes place - more or less - without the citizen. The contest of ideas in town planning for the reorganisation of the area was won by the architect from Berlin who is in the meantime a vehement fighter against the experimental modern times, Hans Kollhoff. An ensemble of skyscrapers that are jacketed with stone is planned. A steep Disneyland wih the appeal of the 20th century, which certainly will be lugged in a grave pose on the retarded stage of time.
Under the headline "God forbid this capital" the predecessor of Lampugnani as director of the museum, Heinrich Klotz, criticised in june of the concentration monotonous buildings and the dictate of more and more onesided uses and binding norms of design concerning hight, alignment and the material for the fronts - stone. Klotz' critic, facing the new perspectives for Berlin and thereby our new capital accumulate in the remark: "What is offered to the public? The perpetuent party of recovery of the historical pattern of the block that defines the street which, if used as a dogma, is making this town monotonous again, in a manner, we yet wanted to get rid of.
The architects of the postmodern side of 'artist-designer' who take part in this bizzar homeplay - a sort of collaboration with computer-simulation and pocket calculator should not be deceived: In the same degree as they plan and design the center of Berlin mono-tously, they will make themselves soon superflous. With such kind of "Participation" which is only focused on the big cake you won't create a prestige decisive for the profession of architects for the future, nor can you give to the citizen that is looking at all this unbelievingly a metropolis which he is able or wishes to identify with. At best he is simply flabbergasted. The idea of participation of the seventies may have presented itself as being too laborious in practice, possible even a little to naive. The monotonuos and therefore perfectly dull gesture of being overcome by which it has been replaced and which appears in Berlin in the gown of prussian puritanism concerned with maximal gaining of space for bureaus seems to be totally out of its mind. A bit more differentiated, a little more open, a little more liberal, a little more close to the citizen, a little more various in design, a little more patient and sceptical concerning prescriptions that are too formalistic - and we would like it, this new german capital. And probably the majority of the citizens of Berlin would do so. But they were scarcely asked at all in all the confusion about the fall of socialism and the following intrigues. Neither in the West, nor in the East.
Participation, identification with a capital, which in its central parts is only belonging to few people, and is taking a uniformity of shape, which is directly opposed to our time and its possibilities and claims, seems hard to imagine. In the beginning of the 19th century the formerly really classicistic Berlin also was called „Spree-Athens". How far away is all this today: the classical Berlin and even more the area of Pericles mentioned before with its proud sense of citizenship. The „Bold type of human being" - as Goethe once characterized the citizens of Berlin seems to have lost his voice, At most the courage is bold with which the powerful are agitating there litteraly covering all fields, The Berlin of tomorrow will in its central areas not have any similarity to the legendary metropolis of once anymore, whose center was formed by the Potsdamer Platt. This Berlin, which is growing between Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz, will presumably become a rather desert, dull, monotonously structured event. Without the charme of undisciplined surprises, without the attraction of all those many little beginnings.
The missed chance consists of acting too fast. Once again this capital is not allowed to grow naturally. Once again the breaks, the sharp cuts, the gaps are dominating. Considered this way, the project Capital resembles an adventurous tragedy, a new crucial test. But to mention ail this on the stage of general and governmental actions of the whole state of Germany. is not possible for those, who decide today and tomorrow at the Spree, what consensus means there. The overture of the capital is not intonated by a chamber orchestra - they rather give us a piece of their mind.
Prof. Dr. Gunter Reiss
Captured in an Esthetic Paradise? Mass Media Childhood and School Life.
I begin my presentation with this picture - a cry
What you can see here is the non-verbal comment of students on their school, I have found this picture of protest which cites a theme of 'The Wall' by Pink Floyd, in one of the back entrances of the school centre Holthausen near Hattingen in Nordrhein-Westfalen which was built in 1978.
It certainly can be understood as being part of the variously and often observed forms of aggressivity and vandalism that students show towards their scalar environment today - but this is not astonishing, considering the anonymity and complexity of the huge institutional systems which almost provoke the destructivity of the students.
The architecture of schools is probably also one reason for it: Blank walls almost ask for being painted or sprayed. Damages and Graffiti are also a kind of visual marker in a system which makes it difficult for the individual to leave traces. Thus this vandalism is a form of appropriation, of course it is a misappropriation, if a positive identification with the school seems to be impossible. Those who are responsible for damages at school are often irres-ponsible for everything else, they lose control of everything, every-thing is fixed and functions without them.
The school of Hattingen is one of this kind of factories for learning.
The physical violence that school, seen as a building, and the structural violence that school, seen as an institution, can exert on young people, produce a pressure which needs outlets. The destruction of objects is one of it, Broken glasses, burnt doors or toilets torn out are the striking traces of such destructive reactions. Damages of smaller dimensions are Le,. The satchel where a skull is drawn upon, the drawings on desks, broken desks, the pencils they chew on, or the painted rubbers, the fully covered exercise books as well as the hole in the plate of a desk: damages of small dimensions which, according to a strict understanding of the Civil Code can be seen as being a fact that can be prosecuted but which are everyday events since there have been studens, can therefore easily be interpreted in a franker and more ambiguous way. The teacher Reinhard F. Spiess has done this in an ironic way:
"It takes the student much more personal sacrifices to bore a well-shaped hole into the plate of his desk during boring math-classes
than it takes a well-known avant-garde artist to belabor a piece of canvas in the protected ghetto of his studio or in the atmosphere crowded with media of a public event. The first has the consequence of an entry in the class register, the information of the parents, the intervention of the liability insurance; the last effects a payment maybe in the dimensions of five digits. IA But school has now as before and necessarily its frame of organisation where the Civil Code and proceedings according to civil law are applied. But the opinions are divided about the primitive and at the same time central question whether the desk with the hole simply is broken and needs repair or if it has been decisively upvalued by an imaginative and laborious artistic design and transposed into another dimension where smooth functionality, lacking in ideas is no longer the measure of all things." (Spiess 1989, p. 28)
The interpretation of such school activities as being creational acts, or even as esthetical, artistical processes could be seen as an 'escape (...) into the kingdom of phantasy' (Spiel), p. 291, where 'stereotypical learning aids are given the new interpretation of precious and unique materials' or 'boring interior design and furniture are given the names which help the students like a secret code to find themselves through the differenciation of the world (of taste) of the adults'. (Spiess, p. 29)
What must be seen by the teacher or the director as a disturbance and vandalism, is of an extreme personal, almost existential importance for the self-confidence and self-definition of the student in an institutional organizing frame and a curricular structure that scarcely perceives or plans him as an individual being.
If you want to define the esthetical practices and the social space of scholar life, you have to include this kind of productive paradoxes and forms of protest against "monotony, boredom and learning that is defined by the others.' Horst Rumpf talked about the 'official images of objects, facts, knowledge' that you have to adopt in the form of 'education or general knowledge in schools and universities' and he opposed them to the 'inofficial images', those 'versions and interpretations, done in secret, bulky, personal, often put under a taboo.' (Rumpf 1986, p.201 The 'official image' is oriented towards those things that are thought to be right and normal in a group or society - it can be observed in what can be seen on monuments, in what is put into the schoolbooks, in what is documented in dictionaries as being assured and proofed knowledge.' (ibid. p. 20) As a contrast to this, the 'world of images and phantasy that is difficult to control' (ibid. p. 211, which cannot be captured by a kind of didactics that applies 'methods that usually are aimed at smoothing and accelerating the transmission of knowledge.'
The important aspect of a description of such opposing images, being the starting point for further reflections is for me the aspect of the creative and productive potential in the confrontation of the students with their reality.
I want to pick up a last example which took place in the eighties like the examples above, in order to clearly define my starting point. It is the example of students of the Ilth grade of a lecture school in Duisburg and was developed after the subjet "self-image' had been given in art classes, the quest for the individual part and identity in a new phase of the scholar career.
The material and the central point for such a position-finding was an almost trivial article of daily use: the chair. At the beginning, the historical context was the point of reference, the art of objects of the sixties and seventies with so popular examples like the 'Greasy Chair' by Joseph Beuys, the chairs with nails by Gunther Ueckers, the chair that was pasted with cigarette-ends by Ingeborg Ltischer, the series of chairs by George Brechts or the wrapped chairs of Christ°. The confrontation with present-time art was the cause and the method for self-reflection. The results of these position-findings of the students are documented in the following selected pictures.
The alienated chairs are snapshots of the life of the students. They tell about disappointments, fears, injuries, hopes. The materials that have been put together in a paradoxical way - cotton wool and barbed wire, the dry branch, a naked doll, the colored feathers - become symbols for inner paradoxes and tensions of every single student, they transmit authentical experiences by means of the esthe-tical object, Curriculae vitae, everyday situations become visible behind the esthetical practice of these works of students, they are transformed into an authentical and autonomous way of expression of a proper identity.
A typical feature of such an esthetical practice is that - more than anything else that can be shown and quantified - it explores the variety of cultural and social forms and possibilities of expression, that it opens doors, creates motivation, provokes curiosity, produces situations where sensible experience can take place. To help students to participate in cultural tradition is one goal. The second goal is to make culture comprehensible also as a development of our social relation that can be lived; to see it as something that everybody can do and that is not postulated like consumers goods or properties, defined by institutions, economical value, high output and fashion. This also means that the experience of self-defined social identity is added to the acquisition of qualification that can be used later in life. This release of creativity and phantasy that becomes possible here is at the same time an expression and a means of a self-definition where the desire of the young for individual autonomy and social realisation can be combined. Thus cultural practices includes esthetical and social processes of consciousness as well as the interrelations of events.
These were - representing more detailed results - examples of the eighties as starting point and frame for the following theses with which I want to try to draw the attention on an actual development that plays a dominant (or so to say: overwhelming) part in the esthetical practice, but without the connection with the social experience and social identity described above.
Today we meet everywhere a reality that is 'already shaped esthetically in a way that our need for an undi.sguised perception', (Selle 1990 p. 15) seems to be distracted by anticipation and mediation which is not always easy to discover and to be aware of. 'Never before have so many parts of the world we are living in been alienated and at the same time palliated.' (ibid. p. 15)
Therefore the question of the esthetical practive has to be asked in a completely different way today. Especially the flood of pictures that is transmitted through the mass media occupies our perception, alienates us more and more from the primarily and self-experienced acquisition of reality. Visual patterns of perceptions and models of reality that are transmitted through specific esthetical performance and wrapping interfere more than ever in the processes of socialization and the intercourse with our social reality. Our consciousness of reality is not insignificantly supplied with the experiences of second -'medial'-hand.
What does this mean under the premises of the transmission of reality through mass media? How does the synthesis of the environment of our life that we produce in our heads today look like? How real is the reality we perceive? I proceed from the presupposition that our imagination is strongly cramped by the worlds of pictures that is overflowing us and that is prestructured more than ever in the perception of reality. And I claim this especially in view of the predominantly active world of video and television, that children and teenagers are exposed to today in a very considerable manner in their esthetic and social socialization.
I want to start here and ask with the help of some examples of this world of videoclips how the 'inofficial' pictures look like today, that become invisible behind the official ones of our world of media.
Changes in the life of Children
The research that has been done on childhood, starting from a different viewpoint has found results that affirm the increasing pre-structuralization and staging of children's every day life, gives methodological support.
I quote from a report of Helga and Hartmut Zeiher about a research project in Berlin (Zeiher/Zeiher 1991, p. 246):
"Compared with the preceeding generations, the children of today meet with preshaped sketches that are specialized in a detailed way concerning many more of their activities, in the form of objects, of institutional arrangements and programmes as well as in the assignment of particular rooms, times and personal: Examples for playing of a particular 'children's' culture in the media and customers goods and in playrooms filled with toys; anticipated movements on playgrounds and sports kits and sportive training programmes; events in numerous institutions for children; curricula of musical and artistic-pedagogical courses and much more." (ibid. p. 246)
These offers influence the structure of the day: On the whole it consists of 'Choosing and picking up opportunities that are available in the room' (ibid. p. 260) Such an 'equipment with material and social details that accurately define the offered activity and promote their implementation' make 'self-planning and preparing unnecessary. (...) Like in a supermarket the children choose activities one after another that have been designed, prepared and sometimes are professionally supervised by adults in order to entertain, occupy, activate children.' (ibid. p. 261)
To choose from options for activities that are offered: this characteristic feature of daily activities of children is a premise that is important for my reflections, another one is closely related to it: 'Offers that can be chosen often contain prestructuralizations of possible activities either explicitely in the form of a composition that, once chosen, leave few possibilities of realisation.' (ibid. p. 264)
Decisions are thus reduced to the 'options that can be immediately realized here and now' (ibid. p. 265). The prefigurated structures they contain are accepted and thus perception and active approach to reality are formed.
But the essence of this general outcome consists also of questions of the aesthetical dimension of such processes of perception and activity. With my thesis that videos also furnish images and structures of a 'second', secretly working reality behind the superficial visual offers, I would like to push this general outcome to the question, which options to deal with reality are part of these prefigured structures. The fact that these are dispositions of social behaviour I am interested in and that are wrapped in esthetical patterns of perception is a logic consequence of it.
My reflections are arranged in the following paragraphs. I will base each of them on a videoclip chosen as an example or a comparable sequence of pictures:
Extract from reality (Michael Jackson: 'Heal the world')
Society of adventures and worlds of experiences (Michael Jackson: 'Captain Eo')
Reality as supermarket (advertizing spot 'Eurocard')
Action instead of history (Janet Jackson: 'Rhythm nations 1814') and as conclusional summary:
Structural elements of an authoritarian society.
Extract from reality
I begin with a videoclip of Michail Jackson: 'Heal the world' (seen on MTV, February 1993). This videoclip starts with confronting us with pictures that are broadcasted everyday through media: scenes of war, soldiers with their war material, burning houses, violent acts, also those of 'civil' kind. Above all children are shown in such scenes, left alone, abused, their suffering is put on stage. More and more children appear, at first one by one, then in groups. They move, strive towards an unknown goal, and meet the soldiers. Conciliatory situations emerge: here a flower, there a helmet that has been put off, a smile. There are more and more children. They assemble. They follow the voice of an invisible singer.
The visual dramaturgy now shows individual children, emphasizes their faces. The scenery changes. The treck of children leaves the inhabited cities, seems to make a pilgrimage through deserts, leaves the places of civilisation. The final scene assembles all the children with big, attentively illuminated eyes and the likewise illuminated candles at a place that is not defined in detail, listening to the voice of the singer that promises a better world or calls upon it.
Michael Jackson does not appear-visually during the whole event. His voice is in the off, it is gliding promising over the scene and attracts the children magically. The looks of those that are assembled in huge numbers are oriented towards supernatural distances, they give a hint to where the voice of salvation comes from.
In the first step, the place where the children are assembled is a place undetermined. It is a place outside the world, a place that is also outside of history. In a huge, open-air-stade the children are listening to the popsinger Michael Jackson. They are the listeners (and spectators) of a pop or rock concert.
The place of assembly of the children is more than only a place outside of history and the social world, it turns out to be the stadium for a pop concert, the location of an esthetical spectacle that is determined by itself. The videoclip defined the better world the song is about, to be the place of the entertaining industry. This better world becomes identical with the medium and its message.
Like a modern pied piper, Michael Jackson leads the children out of the reality into the stade of an artificial world. Like in the historical story of the pied piper the children are betrayed and sold - this time to economy. They become possible consumers and customers. 'Heal the world' can be bought in form of a concert and of a record. The myth of a better world turns out to be the one of a good deal.
The characteristics of the salvator Jackson, the biblical association of the place in the desert and the prophetical voice of the lord as of the allegiance the children give him, clearly also contain elements of an ideology of the leader. The children follow their idol, leave reality and find themselves back in 'reality' put on stage by an entertaining event, a pop concert. The uthopia of a better new world is that of an ancient world, it has only shifted onto an esthetical level - into the artificial paradise of the entertaining industry.
Society of Adventures and Worlds of Experiences
In the example described above 'Heal the world', Michael Jackson does not appear himself. The following one shows Michael Jackson personally in his function of an artificial cult figure of the pop scene. We are dealing with a short and pointed extract of his movie 'Moonwalker'.
Equipped with supernatural glowing and the esthetical and martial tricks of the laser technology, Michael Jackson appears as Captain Eo, being the alien salvator from monsters and beasts that endanger mankind. This mixture of Lohengrin and Messiah is presented like a robot with high-tech-image, wrapped in enamelled paper the combination of dancing and musical elements of his appearance, orientated on design, 'styled' beauty and youth complete the myth of this artificial figure.
In the movie 'Moonwalker' Michael Jackson changes into a salvating messenger who resists the bad, is the friend and the salvator of the children and who - after ascension and resurrection descends onto earth like an imaginative creature in order to give a pop concert. Even clearer than in the video clip described before, in this movie, the aim and the purpose of this salvation of the world become visible behind the glowing appearance of the popstar and his mise en scene as an overall work of art. Michael Jackson is more than just the high-tech alternative to a fussy charming prince of the fairy tales of the Grimms, he is the charismatic leader and salvator in the synthetical universe of the entertaining industry.
But there is something special that is added to it: The video clip shown (an extract of 'Moonwalker') is not a real video clip. It is part of a world of experiences as it is often and increasingly put on stage in forms of complete works of art in the entertaining industry. The extract of `Moonwalker' shown as a clip is part of Disney World in Florida and is part of the 'reality' of this holiday paradise. It's part is to be an element of the esthetical mise en scene of Disney World (see Rautenberg/Andritzky 1989).
We meet such estheticalisations of everyday life everywhere as offers of worlds of experiences: In department stores, swimming pools, hotels, restaurants, holiday parks, the 'characteristic of being an adventure' is always underlined. The world we are living in is changed into produced pictures. Reality changes into a scene on the stage of a market of experiences, we play our parts in artificial esthetical paradises.
The sociologist Gerhard Schulze called this development that has begun in the eighties 'society of adventures' (Schulze 1992). 'Design and the image of the product are the central point, utility and functionality are only supplementary factors.' (ibid. p.13) The value according to the adventure of a product is the most important element, its esthetical appearance becomes central. But it is not only 'the market of goods and services' that has been reached by this kind of processes of estheticalization. 'Life itself has become a project of adventure.' (ibid.) The term of adventure is more than a term of the sociology concerned with holidays. 'It picks up the topic of the modern way of life as a whole.' (ibid. p. 13f.)
When the world becomes an esthetical stage, its social dimension gets stunted. The predominant 'psychological and physical forms of enjoyment are: good mood, relaxation, excitement, entertainment, sociability, coolness, sensations of the senses - things you have never seen nor heard.' (ibid. p. 545) etc, are accompanied by features like 'self-realisation', 'autonomy','animation' or 'activation' (see also ibid. p. 540). The society of adventures is a world of esthetical beings, a world of here and today.
If you think about the fact that in all those situations and productions of reality there are offers for forms of behaviour, patterns of activity, social rites and, above all, values included, which we try and take over consciously or inconsciously at such events, it get clear soon what consequences the increasing estheticalization of our environment has. When everything is a produced game, many criteria for decisions are lost. The limits through which we can distinguish freetime from work disappear. Not only the products offered can be exchanged easily, human beings as well become figures in a play that can be replaced, which is predominated by its esthetical surface, by the wrapping, the costume. The labour of work and the conscience of the state of being produced of these esthetical paradises dissapear in the sounds and odours, in the scenery and dreamworlds of the worlds of adventure and enjoyment.
Reality as supermarket
An example for the esthetical appearance of reality as a market for experiences is the advertizement for Eurocard (different broadcasting companies 1991 ff). In this spot we see the transformation of a skyline, even the architecture of a whole town, into an architecture of goods. The town changes into a huge department store, where, by the way, the goods belong to upper class products.
The spot begins with a sharply outlined skyline of a modern city. Through changing light, shift of the camera and approaching of the place the filmed objects with the camera, the actual identity of the skyscrapers and buildings becomes evident: Bottles of perfume and other beauty articles, the top of a fountain-pen, a watch, cameras, entertaining electronics are the strange scene of a city that is presented like a collection of consumers goods and articles.
The worlds of adventures of our departement stores and shopping areas are set up to the oversized scenery 'city'. The value concerning entertaining and enjoyment of such a city is underlined by • racy waltzes that focus on atmosphere, that is laid under this offer of experiencing the 'city'. The availability of this department store 'city' signalizes the trade-mark of the 'Eurocard'.
The shift of reality towards fiction means here: The perception of the town as an economic medium. Pleasure gain is achievable through sales, promises. The fact that 'city' is a historical place and also a place of social relations, is left out. Consequently, in these pictures there are no people to animate such a city. We experience city to be an offer of adventures which is available if we use the offered pleasures. And the Eurocard helps us doing so. The development of the social context to the esthetic arrangement of a market of adventures changes the reality of the city to a supermarket.
Action instead of history
The development of a historical place to simply a background of a scene is - as it often is in video clips - a basic character of 'Rhythm Nations 1814' by Janet Jackson as well (MTV, Mai 1993). Here, the architecture of an empty factory hall is the stage for the ballet around Michael Jackson's sister Janet. The visual perception is focused on the almost militant seeming action of the group, that takes place in this interior and technical-functional room that is present through different positions of the camera during the whole clip. The dancing performances with a repeated repertoire of strongly stressed movements of the body are presented on several working stages which in the concept of dramaturgy seem to be stages and training centers.
In ihe performance that is abstracted from concrete historical connotations, the question whether it is a game, training for an operation or a Ipara-} military exercise is not answered. The choreogra-phical gesture of the ballet that is moving from the back towards the spectator, wearing suits that look like uniforms, the aggressive combination of fast extracts of films together with the rhythmic beat of the music, the perfect technique of the dance of the dancers and the harsh contrasts and light effects of the black-and-white movie transmit almost the impression of a military performance. There is no place of rest, action predominates.
In the short intermediate part it stays the same: Three dancers exercise a scene of punishment, The use of a truncheon is shown openly, the chastisement of a person that is.kneeling on the floor is visible. The implementation into the movements of the dance is extremely accumulated by the sequences of the film that change with the rhythm of the beat. For several seconds the chastisement is shown to the rhythm that is made by a whip of pictures, Violence which is there throughout the whole clip is openly visible in this short sequence.
This group is menacing; the dynamic of the choreographic formations causes fear, This group seems to be able to prevail. No matter against whom they► are fighting, this personification of order and discipline seems to be invincible. This is what the clip seems to say itself when an observing person is blended in from time to time in different places with different perspectives, Behind a wire netting, in the position of someone who hides himself, observing the scene secretly, an Afro-American, whose position and function are not defined, appears with a fearful look in his face. He might be the target of the operation of the group, he could be in the hall by accident, he could be the victim of a persecution although the videoclip leaves us in suspense of further definitions, a constellation of power and helplessness, of ruling and suppression that is expressed visually evolves.
The fascination of a room that is not perfect is added to all this in the perception of the spectator. From the small actions of damaging objects in and at the perfect rooms of schoolbuildings that I descn-bed at the start up to the atmosphere of decay of a deserted and dilapidated factory hall there is no long way to go.
The offer that is made by the videoclip, an oversized adventure playground corresponds with the dreams of refuge of a whole generation of students, who experience their own helplessness and the orderd narrowness of an educational system, The fact that this retreat as well is a produced alternative of experience that is related with economical needs, is not explicitly visible behind the surface of this replacive reality that has been produced with esthetical subtlety. This factory hall also is a place of produced reality. The appearance of a potential for resistance towards the bourgeois and ordered world stays an esthetical promise. The corresponding promise for liberty and selfruling has been corrupted long since by the availability as a product of media and the putting on stage as an entertaining spectacle. The actual offer that lies in the visual production of this videoclip, is referring to structures of behaviour and collective rites, that turn out to be symbols of the assurance of power and military-authoritarian in the esthetical game without being historically and socially concrete.
I come to the end:
Structural Elements of an Authoritarian Society
Like in the examples above, we can see here basic patterns of a society, which show the authoritarian circumstances, but their esthetical surface and the stories they tell don't show it explicitly. But the definition of the socio-historical place that is implied in the esthetical appearance make the messages of the videoclips ambiguous. A filter is put over our reality in ideologically weak images and our perception is put into structures, that are more than simply exterior or even only entertaining attractions. They are elements of a catalogue of behaviour, they transmit a frightening image of the state of our society that are overpassing fictional rooms and esthetical paradises. They finally accumulate to basic elements of a society that.is structured in a authoritarian way, when in the described clips the ideology of leadership is payed homage to, the willingness to be submitted of a group or even of masses of people is celebrated, paramilitary discipline is transformed into something that is entertaining or if the historical and social correctness of a place is neglected because of the nice appearance of a holiday and consume paradise.
The transformation of our environment into an esthetical paradise of a society of adventures is today a daily offered and often consumed reality. The localities of learning and of social experience are changed into sceneries - with participants and audience, with actors and spectators, that are changing parts. The second-hand scenery (an esthetical hand} are defined to be localities of shows.
The fascination of the esthetic experience which is transmitted through strong appeals and suggestive promises, captures us - we are not even aware of what kind of 'Paradise' we are in. It is a confinement that has its consequences.
But what about school? It is not a coincidence that it only occurs marginally if it occurs at all. In any case there is no place for it in the entertaining media. Does it still play an important part in our society of adventures? Isn't it already on the way to become a market of adventures? At least in the wishful thinking of students it is a paradise of holidays and an amusement park, it appears to be a 'place to put on stage the society of those who have the same age (...) and to present oneself on this market place (...)', as Jurgen Zinnecker has recently put it in a study on the location of childhood - school. (Zinnecker 1995, p.58)
The Children's retreat from reality in a society of adventures, if we want to stay in the associations of the Michael-Jackson-video-clip, is a retreat from school as a social and pedagogical place and also an escape into an artificial reality. We have to ask ourselves when the next retreat will take place - the retreat from society and social reality in general.
* The form of the presentation held at the UIA congress in Konstanz 1995 has been kept up in most parts, the abridgements made there because of the lack of time have been undone in this version. The basic reflections of the presentation can be found in an extended form in my essay: Schule und Stadt als 'Erlebniswelten'? Vom sozialen und padagogischen Ort zum asthetischen Schau-Platz. In: Reiss, Gunter (ed.): Schule und Stadt. Lernorte, Spielraume, Schauplatze fur Kinder und Jugendliche. Darmstadt: Juventa 1995, p. 69-84.
Rautenberg, Thomas und Michael Andritzky (1989): Uberall ist Disneyland. Die kunstlichen Welten der Freizeitkultur. Fernsehfilm. Westdeutsches Fernsehen (West 3). 30.6.1989.
Rumpf, Horst (1986): Die Kunstlichkeit der Schule und das wirkliche Leben. Uber verschtittete Zilge im Menschenlernen. Mtinchen: Ehrenwirth 1986.
Selle, Gert (1990): Das Asthetische: Sinnestauschung oder Lebensmittel? In: Selle, Gert (Hg.): Experiment Asthetische Bildung. Aktuelle Beispiele fur Handeln und Verstehen. Reinbek b. Hamburg: Rowohlt 1990. S. 14 – 37.
Spiess, Reinhard F. (1989): Tatbestand: Sachbeschadigung. Ein Photo-Projekt zwischen Schul-Kult. In: Kunst + Unterricht. Zs. f. Kunstpadagogik. H. 138. 1989, S. 27 - 29.
Zeiher, Helga und Hartmut J. Zeiher (1991): Wie Kinderalltage zustandekommen. In: Berg, Christa (Hg.): Kinderwelten. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp 1991. S. 243 - 269.
Zinnecker, Jiirgen (1995): Kindheitsort Schule - Kindheitsort Stra-Be. In: ReiB, Gunter (Hg.): Schule und Stadt. Lernorte, Spielraume, Schauplatze ftir Kinder und Jugendliche. Darmstadt: Juventa 1995
WILLIAM ROBERT AINSWORTH
Experience of Designer and User Collaboration in School-building
Through my working life as an architect and in the completion of in excess of 3,000 projects, the great majority of successful buildings have been produced out of close connection and involvement of those who use the building on completion. This must take place at the moment of commission and be maintained through the researching and development of the brief and design in particular, production drawings, construction period and essentially in the monitoring of the building in use. Inevitably and dependent on the building type, the involvement of the user has been stronger in some than in others - much depends on the quality and interest of individuals. On only rare occasions has the process stifled innovation.
However, no matter how close the user may be to the design process, he is not trained as a 'visualiser', the building comes as a surprise. Not in how it looks, because presentation techniques and computer technology can give a good indication - but how it works. Architects need to express clearly how to achieve the best results from the building. Major errors have been made in the past and will doubtless be made again, for political and financial expediency. A typical example in the UK would be the housing programmes of high rise buildings n the 1960s. Some results have been disastrous, effecting the inflicted areas of society for generations. These decisions were taken without reference to end user in intelligent consultation.
The recent political preference for Design and Building competition in the UK is escalating and will have similar repercussions. Any system which places the design responsability with the contractor and eliminates the architect from direct contact with the client and end user will fail. Decisions made by accountants and lawyers, where company and shareholders' profit is the priority may produce short term gain, but eventual mediocrity in the environment. This process needs considerable discussion during our meeting.
My task in this short presentation is to identify my own experience of designer and end user collaboration in school building. To express this I will use schools from my own practice as well as fine examples from Hampshire County Council and the Department of Education. All the schools presented have enjoyed full and responsive support throughout the design and construction periods. The consisent monitoring and re-examination of finished schools has led to adjusted concepts of teaching. Innovative design can only be successful if the teachers contribute to understand and appreciate the options and flexibility which new use of space creates.
In our own schools we spent several days amongst the children in lessons prior to a new design and as a part of the monitoring system after completion.
Control of education is changing and schools now have the authority to opt out of the state system. Local management is becoming the norm with schools being run by a Board of Governors and the Headteacher. It is then their responsibility to seek advice from the Lokal Authority when they require it, but since it has to be paid for, they consult the architect. A Board of Governors is generally made up of the Headteacher, a teacher representative, parents, professional advisers and captains of industry.
We are architects with very special sidlls, but a successful school needs many and various involvements. Environment, teaching techniques, progressive technology and computers all in differing hands. We can only carry so much knowledge as individuals and we must draw from others' experience and skill. Only teamwork can join the threads and produce an awareness to the future.
Queens Inclosure Infant
Lies on the edge of the ancient Forest of Bere, Hampshire and designed by Michael Hopkins. Sits parallel and close to the edge of the forest, to maximise the rest of the meadow site and to provide secret teaching areas outside the classrooms that face it. Circulation spine with class bases/ tutorial pods breaking up the volume. Steel frame, profiled metal roof and glass.
Burnham Copse Infant
More urban site - a tent like classroom block and smaller hall. Classrooms around a central shared teaching space, each with their own class/ resource base. Staff and service rooms are grouped around the hall in the second block. Multi pitch roof shares in the slate, glass and tiles act as landmark to children and community.
Bordon Whitehill Primary
A splendid pine, birch and oak wooded site.
This is a very different approach with a loose cluster of cedar-roofed 'sheds'. Building lies along the contours of a natural bowl on three different levels connected by stairs and ramps. Mixture of timber framed structure and load bearing brickword with cedar shingle roofs. Architect Nev Churcher.
Department of Education: Sandhill Infant
School is in middle England called the 'Black Country' after the coal mining and heavy engineering which once dominated. Their disappearance left a mixed population of old communities, having lost their economic roots and newer immigrants with resultant unemployment. As such, it was important to design the school for community use - funded from government targetted at decaying urban areas. Central curving shared spine street containing specialised bays for small group learning. Sliding doors between pairs of classes allow sharing of practical areas. Access is via the covered area or direct via wc pods in cold weather. Architect Robin Bishop
Complex internal plan, derived from the last school and set against a woodland backcloth. Building sunk into the land form to reduce the scale. Land mounds formed from the excavations. Classrooms with mezzanine level resource bases over, spiral around the central hall. Multi pitch roof in zinc, glass and cedar shingles. Composite structure with rafters and purlins.
Westgate Winchester: Hampshire
A small extension to a 1910 neo-Georgian brick school and the first phase of a series which will finally produce a large court. The light steel structure and lightweight flexible panels contrast with brick and concrete block. Section brings light into the central space.
Liss Junior: Hampshire
Funding came from the sale of the old school when the new school was complete. Very little finance available for a difficult site with in 10 slope. Earth moving too expensive and an ingenious ramped interior came out of the constraint. Principal obstacle was to persuade staff, governors, disabled adviser to accept ramped floor. Practical demonstration set on a large roadway covered in carpet. One fine day the slope was carpeted and a 'Mad Hatter' tea party ensued. Everyone was persuaded.
Hatch Warren Junior
Set in a sweep of open downland - 2 principal elements; the hall with kitchen and the double curved classroom wing. Essentially closed classroom accessing a central shared resource space with separate closed class bases opposite. The spiral form of the building echos the manmade features and extends into the landscape.
Stakes Hill: Hampshire Infant
Under construction at time of slides, but now complete.
Ten classrooms on a steeply sloping site. Open plan with three linked spaces of repetitive timber pnmary structure. Clad in timber with cedar shingles. The tree columns and free floating canopy of acoustic suspended ceilings produce highly individual space. Hardwoods are sourced from ecologically managed forests.
Raby Street; Newcastle upon Tyne Nursery and Infant
A school designed in collaboration with Ralph Erskine within the Byker Wall housing scheme. Old red brick Victorian school part demolished to release open playing fields. Part retained for a comrnunitiy hall.
School contains two sides of a new piazza with a church and housing containing other two sides. This is a public thoroughfare and in good weather, the children use the piazza as a resource place. Each classroom has a small open terrace south facing to the playing fields. Hoof dormers bring light into the central hall volume,
Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form Secondary Hexham, Northumberland
Refurbishment of old conservatory.
Solent: Portsmouth Infant
South facing i in 14 slope with a sea view, Open plan resisted by staff, governors and parents as such as a string of nine individual classrooms is broken down in trio of rooms, each with a shared space. Shared areas double as circulation space.
The Headteacher asked for her room to be dissociated from the staff from area and placed in the centre of the classrooms. As she had little time for teaching, she wanted the children to be aware of her presence. It also gave good surveillance of playground and entrance. Hardwoods from managed sources and softwoods treated in organic non-toxic stains, Designed by Kate McIntosh.
I hope that these schools express identity, individuality, excitement, pride and perhaps even exhilaration. Elements so important to the growth of children and their progressive education.
The overriding feature of good school design is never to take the architect away from the initial and constant contact with the client and user. Any procurement method which eliminates these contacts will fail.
University of Ulm
The idea is to describe, to transmit environments for creativity, for real-life, vigorous work! A clear concept, many-layered in its realisation. Not a world for specialists, but more an indicator of the links between and the closeness of art and science: a studio for Max Beckmann, a laboratory — or rather a workshop — for Otto Hahn and Luise Meitner...
A Creative Environment for Scientists
There are many different environments for creative work: the artist's studio, the poet's study, the scientist's laboratory... Our present-day interpretation of specific environments in which such work is done has more to do with specialisation than with the different accommodation needed for creativity, whether for artists (spontaneous, diverse and colourful) or for scientists (serious, comprehensible and grey).
Inventive work has no more specific environment than inventiveness itself. In this lies a corresponding creativeness, which gives it a peculiar distinction. This is not our entire architectural theme in the spatial and architectural expression of the scientific university in Ulm, for the science town... rather we sought to bring out this tendency, this intention.
Building Structures, Building "Towns"
The basic theme for our design for the university site is the idea of a "town", as proclaimed in the title of the competition — a town in the sense of an ordered structural entity with paths and buildings, as opposed to landscape as a natural space. The limiting, separating element — formerly the town walls — is here a wooden-framed construction which links the various areas of the university to each other. The defensive character of the town wall is replaced by a transparent promenade with a second skin of trellises for climbing plants, and double-height bridges for communication. The promenade follows the line of a slight natural ridge on this part of the site.
Adjoining this very public, communal structure are the heavily used teaching areas such as lecture theatres, seminar rooms and laboratories. The individual zones with their areas for research, the institutes, workshops and clean room link in to the teaching areas.
Urban Planning and Landscape
The design tries to meet two different requirements: on the one hand the wish of the regional authorities to build a close-knit modern technological university, isolated to a certain extent from surrounding influences, and on the other hand the wish of the local municipal authorities to preserve the Obere Eselsberg site in its function as an important climatic factor for Ulm, and to maintain the integrity of this stretch of green. Thus the site has been divided into various sections, or "districts", with wide streets
and access roads between them, linking the open fields and woods to the south with the oak woodland in the north. Bridges over the streets dividing the "districts" serve functional requirements without disturbing the continuation of the landscape.
The general two-floor height of the building with the institutes and laboratories (long tract), three floors in the second phase, allows a new type of building for institutes, without the usual shafts and double floors.
As a horizontal section on top of the basement level (fireproof reinforced concrete construction) are all the technical and scientific installations (reinforced concrete frame), and above them on the
first and second floors are the timber-framed "thinking rooms" (Institute) or seminar rooms (long tract). The open, gallery-type corridors are like narrow streets joining laboratories and offices, both horizontally and vertically.
The five towers marking the five different "districts" also indicate crossroads in the system of internal pathways and building junctions. The upper floors of the towers house various special functions.
The red tower in the east contains a cafeteria and faculty rooms, defining on the one side the start of a woodland path, and on the other side connects in to the East site of the University, the dentistry faculty buildings, the library and the lecture theatre centre.
The large halls (clean room, workshop, technology area) are oriented towards the various inner courtyards of the different areas, their form and construction being determined by the individual function.
Lecture theatres, as places where large numbers of people come together, are based on the geometric form of a circle, or segment of a circle.
Construction, Detail and Façade
The main focus of the detail planning stage lay on simple, easy construction, with the additional factors of costs and a short building time.
The institute buildings and the long tract are similar types of building: the basement is a fireproof reinforced concrete structure, with a reinforced concrete frame at ground level (column grid 7.20 m x 4.80 m or 6.30 m). On top of this is an F30 timber frame. A three-floor timber framed structure adjoins the long tract and is characterised by a longitudinal, floor-high beam at first floor level. This beam transposes the 2.40 m grid of the roof and second floor into a 7.20 grid, thus giving flexibility and transparence both.on the ground floor and at the bridge areas (between the different zones).
The reinforced concrete tower provide bracing for the adjoining building sections.
The large halls (clean room, workshop, technology area) are steel framed. In the yellow lecture theatre 07 a reinforced concrete skeleton has trussed beams of wood and steel.
The blue lecture theatre 08 is simply a reinforced concrete basement structure extending far above the ground. The rostra, the roof and their corresponding V-shaped supports are constructed in wood and steel. Irrespective of the type of frame, all building sections (except the clean room, which is partly clad with corrugated sheet) have a wooden facade of one of two types:
a ventilated facade (facades of the corridors of the single-depth institutes, technology areas, lecture theatres and south facade of the long tract) of floor-height, 7.20m long panels with minumum glazing.
system-built facades, floor-height above 1.20 m, with non-ventilated parapet elements and a high proportion of glazing. This type of facade is used primarily in the laboratory, office, workshop and seminar areas.
The outer layer of the facades consists of cemented extruded particle board or fibre cement panels, with wooden strips covering the joints; inside are marine quality laminated panels treated with linseed oil.
All facade elements were prefabricated industrially and colour coated in the factory.
St. + P., 1992
Architects Richard Meier & Partners, New York
Conceived as a foil and a complement to the Munsterplatz, this design is based on a 9-square plan, enclosed on 3 sides by a number of concentric circles. These circular screens are modified and curtailed by a series of intersecting axes and frontage lines, derived in part from the cathedral and in part from the general deometry of the square and its immediate surroundings.
The placement of the building on the southwest corner of the square draws attention to the intersection of the main space with Hirschstasse. The open form of the building at this point affords an inviting entry into the square.
Entry is through a foyer at ground floor where the city's tourist office and ticket centre are to be found. A main stair and elevator rising from the foyer afford immediate access to the lecture hall/assembly room on the first floor and to two successive levels of exhibition space above. A covered loggia/bridge link at ground level serves to connect the restaurant to the entry foyer. The main assembly space on the first floor has intimate visual contact with the square and affords oblique views of the cathedral. While of reinforced concrete construction throughout, the central nine-square cube is faced in natural stone while the curved portions and the restaurant annex are clad in stucco.
The overall design of this building is complemented by the refurbishing of the Munsterplatz, above all by a new paving grid, the dimensions of which are derived from the cathedral. This parvis has been kept free of furniture while its periphery to the northwest is planted with sycamore trees so as to afford a more intimate scale appropriate to the commercial frontage. An asymmetrically situated fountain served as the third point of a conceptual triangle connecting the cathedral tower to the centre of the building.
HIGH SCHOOL, GUNZBURG
Buhler & Buhler. Munchen
On the basis of close and constructive cooperation with local authorities a building concept was elaborated which reinterprets the architectural tradition and the value of townscape. A poor building of the 19th century whose measure and form influenced the ensemble negatively was torn down, so that the breathtaking group of buildings around the Church can be experienced more directly and the baroque effect of the skyline is more evident.
The relatively extensive facilities of the new school were divided into two buildings with different forms and functions. The building containing the special classrooms is in the old part of the town. it follows the ancient city walls and draws attention to an important
part of the townscape. At the 'base of the town' it does not intervene in the dialogue between the existing monuments, but rather only constitutes a platform for it. The other building containing the regular classrooms belongs to the buildings in the outskirts. It is subdivided into small units, according to their functions, and goes well with the smaller dimensions of the buildings in the lower part of town.
The two parts of the building are divided by a sketch of green with histoncal character, which also separates the town center from the lower parts of town and helps considerately in heightening the visibility of the dramatic townscape. In order to keep this park, the gymnasium is underground, making use of the existing difference of height along the wall of the former convent.
The architectural image reflects the pedagogical concept of the school. The students are to find a new home in the regular classrooms. The manageable dimensions of the classroom buildings, their individual development and the clear layout of the commons serve this purpose. It is also intended to have the students keep their classrooms in their building during the whole school life, which then makes this building their heimat.
It is contrasted by the image of the special classrooms and laboratories. A large, well-lighted hall and appropriate technical equipment are intended to force interest and make the time spent there an interesting excursion into specialized subjects.
There is a gymnasium and a stage where the paths between these two areas meet. This layout has the objective of stressing the high value of sports and drama as a means of self-realisation and practicing community skills in the school's curriculum.
The school is designed so as to create unique situations. The divers locations are interpreted correspondingly, views of the surroundings are elaborated and shape the qualities of the spaces.
The elements that form the basis of the image Of' the school are the pathways. which on one hand make students move, and on the other side will produce a lot of sequential experiences. This planning of sequences is enhanced by the various uses of daylight.
Ulm School for Design
Commentary on the situation of the HfG
On February 23, 1968 the members of the HfG decided to terminate their activities at this institution with effect from September 30, 1968 if the government and parliament of the Land of Baden-Wurttemberg persisted in their previously published plans and conditions for continuing the HfG. As we go to press, it is not certain whether and in what form the FUG will continue its existence at Ulm or elsewhere. It is mainly due to the efforts of certain journalists and friends of the HfG that there are in fact any alternatives at all and that we are not presented with a fait accompli. They succeeded in bringing home to the public that the government's measures do not do justice to the HfG. These plans, however, were conceived entirely in the spirit of those measures which as far back as 1963/64 betokened an encroachment on the autonomy of the HfG and curtailed still further its already seriously restricted freedom.
Freedom is first and foremost economic freedom. And in this respect the position was never very favourable right from the start. It was a mistake to assume that an educational institution could and should be financed by earnings from industrial commissions. Education cannot be run out of its own resources. The HfG had therefore to rely on public funds and thus became dependent on the goodwill and understanding of elected representatives. Neither could be taken for granted. On the responsible committees grants were often authorized only by narrow majorities in the teeth of stiff opposition. As the international reputation of the HfG continued to grow, the means whereby the demands arising from such a reputation might be met dwindled because the utterly inadequate funds made a mockery of its aims and commitments. After the HfG had eked out a day-to-day existence on an economy budget year after year and then on an emergency budget in a country whose representatives blithely pose as members of a developed industrial society, the HfG unanimously turned at bay in a resolution which was couched in no uncertain terms. Disrespectful was the word used by liberal-minded middle-of-the-road men to describe the hard and indeed harsh language of the manifestos, which did not hesitate to call a spade a spade. For it is pertinent to ask who stands to gain from pandering to the power of ignorance and the ignorance of power. Certainly not the HfG.
Arguments about the continuation of the HfG began even before a brick was laid. Apart from the politically motivated hostility engendered by the avowed anti-nazism of the HfG, the institution also had to contend with adverse opinions rooted in sheer provincial ignorance and cultural conservatism. The reason was that it did not fit into the traditional cultural scheme in which no provision is made for environmental design. It transcends a conception of culture
where the focus is on the cultivation of the economically independent individual and social aspects are ignored. Culture in its bourgeois form does no harm; it jeopardizes nothing and nobody, least of all a society which can afford such a culture. Beyond the political line it leaves everything precisely as it was. Admittedly Hegel answered the criticism that philosophy can never tempt a dog from behind the stove by saying that it was not its purpose to do so. The same might be said of culture. Yet it tends to become a passively accepted proceeding unless it does in fact attempt the next to impossible. And that such things are possible, i. e. that philosophy can do far more than tempt a dog from behind the stove, is amply demonstrated by some events in world history.
A concept of culture which takes the environment to be its province cannot overlook the society living there; indeed, it is made constantly and urgently mindful of it. To be sure, there is no straight path from a well-designed advertisement or a well-turned doorknob to a better society. And although there was an instinctive consciousness at the HfG of the relationship of design to society it was not actually embodied in its curriculum in a pondered form. The socio-political elements of the HfG were relegated in dilution to vague speeches about the cultural responsibility_ of the designer. Certainly, it would be naive to expect an improvement of social conditions to result from a qualitative improvement of the world of signs and objects, although efforts to make the world a slightly more pleasant place to live in must undoubtedly be regarded as legitimate. By taking a leap into the pragmatic, one might rid oneself of doubts and find what is right by a subjective approach. For since the environment is created and will continue to be created as a super-prothesis, it will not be the least of the factors deciding whether and how a society of whatever system will live and survive.
The technical rationalism advocated whole-heartedly by the HfG constituted a progressive element particularly during the earlier years of its existence. Previously opposed, it has now gained acceptance everywhere. The socio-political factor associated with this rationalism is, however, less welcome; for it cannot be fitted snugly into the productive and reproductive process of society. Industrial societies need intelligence to remain alive. One brand of intelligence in particular is favoured. Instrumental intelligence is taken into service but critical intelligence is desired to a lesser degree or not at all. Evaluated willy-nilly in terms of output, the HfG — particularly for the last 5 years or so — has had to prove its right to existence by becoming a production centre of qualified designers. It became an designer factory which endeavoured with shamefully slender funds to fulfil one part of its programme, viz. the training of designers. After the HfG had cooperated in turning the unsolved problem of training designers for today into a solvable one, two other parts of its programme would have had to be implemented: development projects and, more particularly, research in the field of environmental design. In any case the mimetic process of training (pedagogics copying practice) would have had to be abandoned: today industrial practice is more advanced than pedagogics whereas ten years ago it was the other way round. Now if training is not to become an insignificant appendage of industry, it must create its own models and patterns so as to give future practice its bearings; otherwise training will be merely duplication. And thus it would be unable to give a stimulus to practice in industry.
Internal discussion on a revision of what was taught and how it was taught, including a reorganization of the HfG, had already begun during the academic year 1966/67. In view of the apparently more weighty considerations bound up with the threat to the very existence of the HfG, these discussions became somewhat unreal. Yet although the necessity of overhauling the HfG could no doubt be postponed, it could not be dropped altogether. If the HfG had been relieved of these external constraints, the realization that a monolithic concept of design is no longer tenable today would have produced its fruit. For the view that the problems of design can be solved primarily if not exclusively by designing has been shaken. The relationship between the designer and the sciences must be thought out afresh. So far designers have clung to the role of consumers of science hoping that someone somewhere will produce a piece of knowledge which they will apply and utilize if they come across it more or less by accident. Today there is no future in this receptive attitude; it must be converted into a productive one. This can be achieved if the design schools do not train their students merely to make design objects but also to create design knowledge and design organization. In the last analysis design is more than the creation of three-dimensional forms. The activities of the designer will become differentiated. There will be designers who work on the drawing board; there will be designers who research; and there will be designers who organize and plan. These are the lines along which we shall have to proceed in the future and at the same time the eclectic attitude towards the sciences will have to be abandoned. Design which might claim to organize and leave its imprint on a highly artificial and in future extremely complicated environment
needs the creation of a science of design as a branch of a future science of environment.
Viewed from the future the HfG might appear to be a transitional institution which attempted to conjoin science and design but only succeeded in the initial stages of the synthesis. As a newcomer among the classical seats of learning the HfG could not live independently of them. Its functional dependence on the production centres of knowledge became increasingly apparent. But since the latter are themselves bogged down in a serious crisis of a political nature and must ponder their own relationship to society, they can do little to help design out of a crisis which is rooted in the nature of the subject.
In view of the urgency and the rapidly increasing proportions of the problem confronting the occupants of a world environment it would be hopeless to wait for the universities to reform their organization and their activities. Similarly the organizational form of industry — and this applies in particular to capitalist industry — will not allow it to tackle and solve problems affecting society at large, i. e. problems including such fields as community design. This touches on the immense sector of public use as against private consumption. Today a town, a hospital, a school make up a hotchpotch of individual and part products which do not form a system or at best only a Jerry system. To deal with the problems looming up there it would be necessary to create new, versatile institutions where environmental design could be studied on a broad and interdisciplinary basis. Here would be a field of experiment for that collaboration between sociologists, psychologists, economists, engineers, doctors and designers which has so often been aimed at and so seldom attained. And at the same time this would spell the end of the absolete arrangement whereby designers and architects are "advised" by scientists.
Trials could be made with new didactic ideas according to which each student is no longer the competitor of the others. Certificates of attendance as the expression of a repressive principle of performance, and indeed any didactic system
which operates with the threat of minimal frustrations, would be replaced by an emancipating form of instruction. Lectures, which are a highly uneconomic way of imparting knowledge unless it is new, would drop out and be replaced by teaching programmes in which existing knowledge is concentrated. Heuristically oriented instruction would be replaced by instruction in which the solution of a problem is the focus of attention. The members of working groups might team up on the basis of their motivations and interests rather than be assembled according to the fortuitous criterion of their date of registration. The learning process would become productive instead of reproductive.
Perhaps the HfG could have stripped these speculations of their tentative character although it must be remembered that experience shows that regeneration does not come about of its own accord or arise spontaneously from the matter itself but that it must be created by taking a revolutionary grip on things.
But for this the HfG would have needed a freer climate and not had to solicit in fear and trembling the favour of the elected representatives whose hands control the money-bags and who have never found the HfG's desire for innovations and experiments congenial.
The HfG is therefore almost at an end. It is to be hoped that it will not suffer the same fate as the Bauhaus, i. e. to be rendered harmless and put on show as an exhibit in the museum of cultural objects. Nor should the resolution of the members of the HfG be decked out as a heroic gesture. It was not the end of the HfG that was heroic but the hope presiding at its inception. The HfG is not to be gauged by what it achieved but by what it was prevented from achieving.
John J. Castellano, FAIA
School Design Collaboration A Formula for Success!
Monday, September 4 morning session
School Design Collaboration
A Formula for Success !
In planning any educational facility, solutions that are a direct translation of the programs served are always the most successful. In order to assure this, collaboration of the Architect with the User is essential.
This session will focus on proven methods to satisfy the needs of the following:
1. Solicitation of valued input concerning overall VISIONS from user groups.
Vision Planning Groups are organized with the Architect as facilitator,
The purpose of these sessions is to brainstorm philosophical ideas, goals and objectives that set the 'tone' of the project
2. Organization of these VISIONS into distinct goals and objectives that will be
used to evaluate future architectural solutions.
The Architect assembles information gathered with the Vision Planning Groups and organizes them into logical categories.
Findings are presented back to group for refinement and to reach consensus.
3. Quantifying the philosophical and emotional needs into tangible space
Each philosophical idea has a corresponding physical space implication,
The Architect explores this both in analytical and graphic form to decide the 'real' size and characteristics of the project.
4. Organizing space in inventive ways to enhance a conceptual direction.
After review of Program ingredients, the Architect develops various concept options that take the Program ingredients and organizes them into tangible designs.
Site development, building layout and three dimensional ideas are all included in this concept exploration phase.
5. Gaining consensus through a continual interactive design process.
Each concept is evaluated against the initial philosophical goals and objectives — Do they meet all of them?
6 Cost summaries of each option are also developed to fully understand the merits of each.6 Collaborating as a TEAM to produce the absolute best facility.
Through a TEAM effort the best possible facility will result.
The TEAM feels a real ownership of the project and will help promote it to the community.
7 HAVING FUN and nurturing long standing special friendships among the Collaboration Group!
It will be a fun experience!
Creating environments for children is rewarding for we create long lasting legacies for future generations to enjoy.
The following examples will reinforce each of the major categories.
New Southwest High School
TM P's design of this high school was chosen as the 'winner' in a national design competition sponsored by the school district. The design responds to several goals and objectives - flexible classroom space; direct entry to gymnasium, theater and media center; visible 'front' door; community focus; expandability
Organized around the central common area, the 'Atrio', the school shares its resources openly with the community it serves, Traditionally, in historic southwest' architecture, the Atria' was the central gathering place in front of the town church. It was used for instruction, music, dance and processions and was the focus of community life, The characteristics of the 'Atrio' are very appropriate to a high school environment that fosters a strong and lasting sense of community - thus, this design organizes the school around this active space.
Building forms were derived to respond to site influences and to create flexible and expandable learning environments. Classrooms are flexible in design to allow teaming, cooperative learning and interdisciplinary teaching to occur. All class areas include carefully articulated windows to take full advantage of the setting.
The gentle east-west curve of the circulation spine and ramada allows breezes to be captured for natural cooling and provides 'friendly' visual supervision to all parts of the academic core. The Media Center, at the heart of this core. allows easy access for students and community to enjoy the resources contained within, Additionally, future expansion of this core can be accomodated in four locations adding to the flexibility.
The Gymnasium and Theater spaces are entered directly from the 'Atrio'. This allows expansion to occur to the south as program enrollments enlarge.
The new school includes numerous 'Tech Labs' (computer areas) to facilitate individual and group research activities with the help of the computer. These "Tech Labs" will be networked to class areas and also back to the control center within the Media Center. This will facilitate media and data retrieval and transmission to occur throughout the school.
Berkley High School Science Classroom Renovations
The 11,000 square foot renovations at Berkley High School involved the consolidation of all science classrooms into one identifiable wing. The rooms were originally scattered throughout the school. TMP conducted a planning workshop with the high school science staff, school district administrators and educational consultants to determine programming for the new wing,
The primary goal was to provide a flexible facility that would adjust to changes in science education and technology and to allow for research and team-oriented learning. The science wing provides one large flexible interactive lab for use with multiple groups. Adjacent to the interactive lab are four group instruction classrooms. A central prep and stor-age room serves all areas.
Franklin and Stevenson High Schools
An extensive renovation and addition program was recently completed at Livonia Public Schools' high school facilities, Additions to Franklin and Stevenson High Schools include an Instructional Materials Center, eight new classrooms, and a new science wing.
Renovation at the schools occured throughout. The existing science wing was remodeled and a number of areas were changed to become part of the new [MC, including the existing scheduling office. teachers" lounge, a classroom and the corridors. The vacated 1MC was transformed into a new computing center for the school. The existing science rooms and computer labs were converted to general classrooms. The original teachers'. workroom has been added onto and renovated. A new scheduling office was also provided.
The school received new technology equipment including networked computers for instructional and lab use as well as research use in the [MC. In addition to this equipment, the school also received compact disc reference tools, bar code readers, LCD computer projection panels and a satellite dish receiver
Haslett Middle School Additions/ Renovations
Haslett Middle School is designed to be both functionally and architecturally dynamic.
A new Media Center was positioned to be centrally located to the students as well as to take advantage of spectacular views of a woodland preserve. Direct sunlight is diffused through an upper band of translucent glass, while sheltered transparent glass allows students to appreciate the natural setting.
An expanding student and staff population created the need for eight additional classrooms, an auxiliary gymnasium, an expanded lunchroom, a new science lab, computer lab, counseling offices, and renovated teacher's lounge and workroom. New administrative offices now occupy the former underutilized student commons while a new glass enclosed Commons was created as a link between tshe new classroom wing and Media Center addition.
A new entrance canopy was designed as a symbol for the extensive renovation and addition program. During the day a soft north light filters through the translucent clerestory glass to welcome the students to their building, in the evening, the canopy is backlit to create a welcoming beacon for all members of the community.
Walled Lake Middle School
Walled Lake Middle School is designed around the Media Center as the symbolic focus of learning. This space, with its distinctive roof form and skylight, defines the main entry to the school and its placement at the heart of the two level academic cluster enables it to truly be the 'town center' for the students. Reinforcing this organization are two major student commons - one directly adjacent to the Media Center and all specialized areas around the other. These commons provide a social space for students, and their placement facilitates 'friendly' supervision by staff. Classrooms and special use areas (art, life skills and science) are organized on two levels with a grand stair terminating at the entry to the Media Center. A unique feature adjacent to the classrooms is the 'mini-tech' lab which is used to foster individualized learning opportunities with the use of the computer_ Each class area is linked directly to the Media Center via voice, video, and data connections.
The Specialized Academic area includes spaces for Performing Arts, Technology Education, and Physical Education, The Performing Arts area includes choral and band practice studios and a full working stag adjacent to the cafeteria.
Technology Education contains a 'hands-on' traditional shop area and the Tech Lab, outfitted with flexible computer aided work stations for robotics, CAD, electronics, etc. Physical Education includes a major competition gymnasium with seating for 800.
This new middle school has been a resounding success for the district. In the words of the Principal, "We think it's a 'palace', we really do... the facility is spectactutar and the kids love it!"
Moorsbridge Elementary School
The design of this new elementary school responds to several important program ingredients, such as flexible classroom arrangements, segregation of auto and bus traffic, availability of the central media center for after hours use by the community, integrated instructional technology system oFiginating from the media center, and expandable gymnasium and multi-purpose spaces positioned to facilitate community use.
The school incorporates a very direct circulation system with two front doors - one directly adjacent to the bus loop and one adjacent to the auto and pedestrian loop. Kindergarten areas include a controlled outdoor play area with direct access from the class area, Generous porches et entry provide a decorative and functional element for the children.
The entire schol is crafted with a brick facing which utilized two colors to accent the facades. The roof is sloped with shingle covering to respond to the scale of the misting neighborhood.
The Situation in Bulgaria-A personal viewpoint
The following short report does not aim to make a complete retrospection of the results of the collaboration between the Designer and User or the lack of such in the creation of educational and cultural spaces in Bulgaria but rather to present the author's personal viewpoint, based on his experience in the specific conditions of Bulgaria.
At the time of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 in Bulgaria there were more than 14 universities, about 40 theatrical companies in detached buildings (more than 15 independent theatres in the capital Sofiai and hundreds of youth centres and culture clubs. The expenses for the designing, building and maintenance of those numerous buildings, created mainly in the years of totalitarian government, were borne by the state budget.
In those years the State was the main Notifier, Investor and User of the educational and cultural spaces. There was no contact and cooperation between the real User of the building (Theatrical company and audience, school or university staff, teachers and students), the Designer and the Owner.
The Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Architecture and Construction prepared the technical standards for the construction, function and content of the educational and cultural spaces - schools, university complexes, theatres and operas, youth centres and cultural clubs. In most of the cases the designing programmes were prepared without the direct participation of the final User of the building. Unfortunately, the final result, despite the purely architectural and plastic achievements, does not always coincide with the practical needs of the User. Regrettably that harmful practice was applied not only in the designing of educational and cultural spaces. An eloquent example of that practice are residental quarters, made by the anonymous designers of the enormous designers institutes (up to 2000 employees) and used by the anonymous average families. But if the residental building was typified on purpose - in order to organise it in a fast industrial way 'using concrete panels1, to a great extent the Educational and Cultural spaces were considered unique.
There is no direct, legally regulated co-operation between the responsible Designer of the building and the final User neither in the process of elaboration of design programmes nor during the process of designing, no matter who the final user is:
theatrical companies and audience
school staff and pupils
university authorities and students
administration and independent users of cultural activities and values
That extremely important connection is to a great extent realised spontaneously and incidentally, depending on the overall cultural and informational level of the Designer as well as on his personal willingness for direct communication with the final User of the particular building, which is to be used for the cultural and educational purposes. The extremely important User's evaluation of the completed building, concerning its future internal development and improvement in the process of its exploitation in the most cases is sent postfactum to the anonymous Designer. Even if the Designers of already exploited buildings are willing to make corrections or improvements, it is not possible due to loosely formulated copyrights.
After the democratic changes in 1989 these problems were not reduced at all due to the following reasons:
the lack of reliable governmental investments, required for the high quality construction of the educational and cultural spaces;
the insufficient, often symbolic funds for maintenance and reconstruction of existing buildings, which often results in their destruction
some theatrical companies and schools were deprived of their buildings due to the restitution (the return of the existing state-owned buildings to their previous owners);
the few powerful patrons, ready to sponsor the creation of new buildings and complexes as well as architectural - spacial experiments;
despite the attempts to organise private schools, universities and theatrical companies, they still do not have the required financial funds to form a new style in designing of educational and cultural spaces ;
- The co-operation between the Patron-Designer-User has to be reconsidered as it is the determinative connection in the new economic and socio-cultural circumstances.
The presented examples show that the most successful buildings are not only those with emphasised plastic achievements but also the ones which are created in close co-operation between the Designer and the User. The mutual information exchange of the functional connections, architectural decisions, plastics, furniture, philosophy of exploitation and details always gives positive results.
It is evident that one of the main problems to be solved by the Working Group of UIA "Educational and Cultural Spaces" is the definition of the basic principles and directions in the "Designer-User" relations. Here are some suggestions:
Both the Designer and User should take part in the creation of the design programme;
The User should be a permanent advisor (with the respective feed back) in the process of designing of the cultural and educational spaces;
The User should have the right of authorial control in the process of realisation of the building, having the right to make "corrections on the spot";
The feedback analysis of the User (after a given architectural building is introduced into exploitation) should be used by the Designer in the creation of programmes for reconstruction, development and
construction of new buildings.
DESIGNERS AND USERS — COLLABORATION IN DESIGN OF EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL FACILITIES IN CHINA (Summary)
Collaboration between designers and users in course of architectural designing can be rated as a guarantee of its quality, and equally as a means of continuously improving and upgrading the job. They have a great many ways of cooperation during designing. In China, the usual ways are as follows:
I. Universities' Agencies for Capital Construction Play a Role of Bridge Between Designers and'Users
Almost every Chinese university has a special agency responsible for its campus capital construction under a Vice-chancellor. In accordance with their schools' requirements, the capital construction agencies will often organize many conferences in succession during the entire process of designing teaching buildings so that the relevant leading cadres, teachers, laboratory technicians, students and others may put their heads together over design proposals and express their desires and suggestions.
The Capital Construction Department of the Chinese State Education Commission has organized the capital construction agencies of all the major universities in China and a part of the leading cadres and experts of the design institutes of all the universities in China into a nongovernmental body by the name of "Capital Construction Society of Universities and Colleges".It has a branch in every province and autonomous region.
Designers Make an Investigation and Study among Users
There are architectural design units in a rather large number of Chinese universities, especially in those each including an architectural department/school. While the designers of the Institutes were respectively doing design of teaching buildings for their universities, they could quickly make use of the convenient conditions of being familiar with the life and envinonment of their respective universities so as to go amid teachers and students for a research and study.
Designers are Users
Upon finding their manpower not sufficient in working on some major projects of their respective universities, the afore-mantioned Institutes would request their respective universities' leaders to temporarily transfer some architectrual teachers and students as reinforcement. Those so transferred originally were users in some respects, now they were users and designers at the same time.
1. Universities'Agencies for Capital Construction Play a Role of Bridge Between Designers and Users
Almost every Chinese university has a special agency responsible for its campus capital construction. The agency,directly under a Vice-chancellor,is in charge of working and carrying out plans for the construction of various facilities in its own university. In a not much sizable school, or college, or university, the agency even takes on itself the tasks of repairing and maintaining all of its teaching building and dormitories. Usually, the aforesaid agencies, each on behalf of its own school, or college, or university, respectively entrust design units with new construction projects for their own separate use after having obtained approval from the State Education Commission. In accordance with their schools' requirements, the capital construction agencies will often organize many conferences in succession during the entire process of designing so that the relevant leading cadres, teachers, laboratory technicians, students and others may put their heads together over design proposals and express their desires and suggestions. Take as an example the course of designing the building complex for the Science College of Beijing University. This project is larger in scale, covering a total floor area of sore than 200,000 square meters. At the very beginning the university invited several big design units to a competetion. Before the judging panel of experts, or the reviewing committee of experts, came to the decision, the university had openly displayed all the drawings of the design proposals in serial numbers. And at the same time the university had arranged for teachers and students of . its departments to attend the exhibition. They were asked to examine with their own eyes, voice their opinions and make their choice by ballot. The comments
and voting result of those as represantatives of users were important factors for the panel's consideration.
Take another example. Some design units put forward 3 proposals for the master plan to alter and extend Hainan University campus not long ago. The University has held several conferences to solicit opinions about the proposals. Its leading cadres, teachers, office staff members, ordinary workers and students, as separate groups, attended the meetings. The chancellor made the final decision.
The Capital Construction Department of the Chinese State Education Commission has organized the capital construction agencies of all the major universities in China and a part of the leading cadres and experts of the design institutes of all the universities in China into a nongovernmental body by the name of "Capital Construction Society of Universities and Colleges".It has a branch in every province and autonomous region. It holds a conference for academic discussions and experience exchange every 2 years. It has issued an academic periodical with the title of "A Study on Capital Construction of Universities and Colleges" on an inregularly-scheduled basis since 1988. There are users and designers within this Society. They have brought work summaries and part experiences from themselves, or their own units. This has played a very good role of guidance and promotion for the capital construction of all the universities and colleges in China.
2. Designers Make an Investigation and Study among Users
There are architectural design units in a rather large number of Chinese universities, especially in those each including an architectural department. For example, the architectural design Institutes each pertaining to Tsinghua University, Southeast University, Tongji University, Tianjing University and other universities are sizable and stronger. The designers of each such Institute are as many as from 100 to 200. Besides taking on design duties from within their own respective universities, these Institutes usually take in design jobs from cities and towns all over the country. While the designers of the Institutes were respectively doing design of teaching buildings for their universities, they could quickly make use of the convenient conditions of being familiar with the life and envinonment of their respective universities so as to go amid teachers and students for a research and study. Indispensable to the designing of some special laboratories is the cooperation between the designers and these laboratories' teachers and technicians. Sometimes. it was such personnel, who issued design programs and requirements directly. In order to meet the needs of users as much as possible, the designers would often go into similar universities and laboretories to conduct a deeper investigation and study. By so doing, they could not only acquire successful and applicable experiences of others but also get to know not a few of others' errors and lessons, which they should try to avoid.
3. Designers are Users
Upon finding their manpower not sufficient in working on some major projects of their respective universities, the afore-mentioned Institutes would request their respective universities' leaders to temporarily transfer some architectrual teachers and students as reinforcement. The teachers would take the projects as the diploma projects for their students, and thus the teaching process and the design process would be combined. Those so transferred originally were users in some respects, now they were users and designers at the same time. So, it was much easier for them to comprehend and grasp the relevant functional requirements and operational conditions about which they already had an intimate knowledge. Occasionally, the universities, each including an architecrtural school or department, put all design proposals for projects to competitions among their teachers and students. The types of the projected buildings,such as architectural school building, cultural centre for students, dormitories of students, etc. ,are well-known to the teachers and students. For instance, the design for constructing a cultural centre for the students of Tsinghua University. which has just gone into operation. was chosen from among the design proposals in competition. The judging panel comprised not only architectural professors but also those in charge of the capital construction agency and the real end-user -- the student community of culture and art. The adopted design was developed from the first-prize winner's project and the second winner's project. It is worth while to mention that the first-prize winner was a postgraduate studying for the master degree, and the second-prize winner was a team including one teacher and one postgraduate. It is a practice that according to the 5-year program, students of an architectural department, upon ful-filling their diploma projects during the 5th school year, are for the most part assigned to take part in some real projects. For the sake of convenience, these projects were often selected from design tasks of their respective universities. Therefore, their familarity with the school life and academic requirements were very useful to their design work. It goes without saying that they must go deeper into user units to obtain first-hand information through fuller and more accurate investigation.
Designers and users.
The Hungarian scene.
As far as educational and cultural buildings are concerned all the important events and changes of our history have been reflected in the cooperation and relation of Designer and User.
The postwar period after W.W.. II. can be devided into three major internals:
From 1945 to 1968 - Centralisation
From 1968 to 1990 - Reforms
From 1990 to cur days - Bloodless revolution
The manifaceted education of prewar era with a majority of schools in church hands, the scene completely changed when a centralized teaching system on all levels prevailed.
The central Governement's school-building programme made obligatory the application of standardized buildings with no freedom for meeting local needs.
The Architect had no direct contact to actual Users, because the central administration took over the role of the client.
By the same time as the centrally planned
economy gave way to market orientation reforms among teachers evolved influenced by western experiences.
As a consequence a special type of educational building appeared a combination of comprehensive school and community centre all over the country.
This building type was born as a joint effort of local authority, schoolmaster and architect.
1989 was a mile stone in history of both Hungary
and Europe. Revolutionary changes swept away outdated ideologes and artificial state formations.
The Eastern Block countries turned their face to a market oriented economy.
The prewar wide away of education partially turned back and the state monopoly of teaching and education was challenged by the user because the local authorities elected in a democratic way. The state owned large design firms gradually disappeared and private entreprise gained
impetus. However a smooth cooperation between the new key figures of administration - education building could not be reached so far.
KENT HIGH SCHOOL
A High School for the 21st Century
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PAPER
Planning/Design Through a Collaborative Process
Educational reform efforts at the high school level are underway across the United States to link traditional academic elements to a meaningful, centered kind of learning. We are looking at programming from a different point of view and are dealing with new educational needs and the various activities involved in the learning process.
We, as architects, have a unique opportunity to change the learning process, whether in designing new facilities or renovation of existing structures. We have the opportunity to design innovative solutions which reflect the most current knowledge about how we learn along with community and cultural influences that affect the use of educational facilities. We have a professional responsibility to our children to design appropriate learning environments. We must examine the way we have designed our high schools in the past and determine what needs to be changed for the future...that is the challenge in designing the high school for the 21st Century.
The high school of the 21st century must operate as a learning community and must provide a sense of caring, expectations, attachment and ownership by the students, staff, and community. We must provide an environment that brings a substantial sense of community and culture into the school. As Buckminster Fuller said, "Reform the environment, stop trying to reform people. They will reform themselves, if the environment is right."
We must involve the community, "It takes the whole village to educate the child."
We must plan and design facilities through a collaborative effort in which all team players are involved; students, teachers, parents, members of the community, senior citizens, etc.
The Kent High School project for Kent School District, Kent, Washington, USA, was a unique planning effort between the local board, administration, staff, students, senior citizens, business community, and architectural design team. The master planning team was charged to design a facility that will stand the test of time and provide greatest opportunities for students who pass through it's hallways, within the following parameters:
There were no preconceived notions as to what the building should look like.
This was not a prototype, it is a one-of-a-kind school.
The committee was a representative body, that involved others as appropriate,
with the responsibility to design a facility to educate students in total... not in particular.
The design of the school should not be conventional nor exotic.
The high school will be the hub of the community. The location of the high school is in an area yet to be developed, and will be utilized as a community center.
The school will last 50 years; it must have tremendous flexibility and utility.
Design a building to educate students today; the uncertainty is in what students will need tomorrow.
Share past experiences to build for tomorrow. When the building is completed, and community itself will be different from today.
Don't be too quick to compromise-- stand firm.
The school must have an entrance that is easy to find.
The school should have a successful opening. Parents, students and staff should like it and feel safe.
The population of the school district has become more diverse, there is more urbanization in parts of the district, and the definition of family is not the same. It is important to look at the changes, recognize the needs brought about by the changes, and find ways to meet those needs.
The growth rate of the district in the last few years has challenged district personnel in housing students and providing teaching stations. The use of portables and the subsequent relocation of portables each spring has been a necessity. Current enrollment projections are based on .8 students/single family unit and .5 students/apartment unit.
A high school is similar to a city, with it's own social system, traditions, and culture. The new high school will be innovative. It is important to market new ideas within the community. Students are ready for innovation, and innovative teachers will be drawn from throughout the district and State of Washington so they can do something different in education.
It is the desire of the planning team to achieve the following:
Design a "state of the art" high school for the 21st Century.
Address an educational environment in which all students can learn.
Recognize the fact that youth learn in different ways, i.e. passive and active learners.
Accommodate all programs and enable teaching with appropriate materials and technology for students today and in the future.
Provide an architectural environment conducive to learning.
Issues that were important to address in the design are:
Flexible use and choice of program, time, and scheduling.
Flexible space-adaptable space, now and in the future.
Changing role of teachers: manager/coach; working in blocks/groups; options in programs.
Time and places for kids to interact.
Places for tutoring.
Involvement of technology specialist.
Windows of opportunity in the community and the world.
Cooperation with community in sports, maintenance and community use (zoning the building).
Feeling of welcome to accommodate interaction with the community.
The architect and design team must be good listeners, wanting to meet the needs of the committee, and have no preconceived ideas as to the design of the facility.
The master planning team developed major areas of focus during the planning process. They were curriculum, safety and security, flexibility, community use, valuing individuals, school culture, and technology.
The architect/design team also developed a mission statement as a part of the collaborative effort.
"The design of the high school for the 21st Century must:
Provide an environment in which all students can learn.
Recognize that young people learn in different ways and at different rates.
Acknowledge that learning takes place in all types of spaces both inside and outside of the school.
Provide a facility in which special education as well as highly capable students can use and improve their higher level thinking skills.
Be a facility in which every student has an equal opportunity for learning experiences and a physical environment that helps stretch the individual's learning capacity to develop his or her abilities. This means the students' environment provides access to appropriate materials, technology (now and in the future), excellent instruction and is architecturally conducive to their learning needs."
The master planning team in the development of educational program/specifications and architectural concepts, need to keep specific issues in mind which will affect the learning of young people yet also serve community needs.
Concept of Life-Long Learning
The citizen of the twenty-first century will be a life-time learner. Therefore, students must develop the confidence to learn and must become active participants in their own learning. The facility must be designed and zoned to accommodate continuing education for all ages (18 - 90+ years of age).
The facility must provide an environment in which active learning will be student-centered. Teachers, now and into the 21st Century, will use a variety of techniques to engage students and to provide an environment that encourages students to risk, stretch, and enlarge their capacity to learn in varied styles and situations. Classrooms, schedules, and facilities will be organized so as to encourage a multiplicity of activities. Students will be increasingly engaged with the community.
Educational models will become more participative, active oriented and project oriented rather than passive learning in a traditional classroom. We visualize a facility with a variety of learning models and a variety of spaces to fit the needs of the students.
Process and Knowledge
Learning will emphasize process. As information is developed and disseminated more rapidly and as the global context changes, traditional concepts about the way knowledge is dispersed are changing. Knowledge of facts, concepts, and principals will be vehicles for learning how to learn and how to search for meaning. The emphasis will be on the tools needed to find information and determine what knowledge is meaningful.
Integration of Learning
Integrated learning will be essential to develop links, or meanings, as the body of knowledge increases and its fragmentation accelerates. Integration may be accomplished in a number of ways:
Integration within subject areas
Integration across subjects or disciplines Thematic concepts
Developmentally centered themes Applied academic themes
Specific thinking skills
Integration with community programs
Information technology is already central to education. In the future, technology will provide new ways for organizing teaching and learning. Teachers will need to be able to design instructional strategies that require a variety of resources to meet the varied needs of students. Students will need to use technology as tools for production as well as for finding and organizing information. Technology will create new links to homes, businesses, and local and international learning centers. Technology in the classroom prepares students for entry into the world of work.
Key Issues to Learning/Curriculum Development and Design Concepts
LI Flexible use of program choices, time, schedules and spaces
LA Flexible/adaptable space - flexibility in program delivery implies flexible
Technology as a transparent tool, not a key design feature.
Teacher as a manager or coach rather than an information giver.
Block and team teaching concepts in multi-discipline programs.
Teacher options and choices to create programs to meet state requirements.
Time and special spaces for students to interact and develop social skills.
School district technology specialist as member of design team.
The environment will feature windows -- windows to the outer environment,
windows to the community, and windows to the world.
Natural light and the natural environment will be used when possible.
Cooperation with the community in the construction, maintenance, and use of sports and recreational facilities should be facilitated.
The facility will welcome and accommodate interaction with community members, parents, businesses, artists, senior citizens, and social and governing entities.
Space will accommodate reflection as well as interaction.
The environment, both interior and exterior, will be utilized as a means for teaching and learning an integrated curriculum.
IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO RE-EXAMINE THE ROLE OF THE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT IN THE LEARNING PROCESS.
The Kent School District currently serves a geographical region that is approximately 73 square miles in size. It is the fifth largest school district in the State of Washington with an enrollment of 22,268 students during the 1991-92 school year and an average increase in enrollment of 1,000 students each year.
The Kent schools strive to offer students a course of study that emphasizes the basic skills, with a wide range of other academic programs that serve to enhance and enrich this strong academic foundation. Each of the district's three high schools, and the alternative high school, offer a wide range of courses designed to serve the district's diverse student population. Many of these educational programs have received local, regional and national recognition.
Residents throughout the Kent community demonstrate great pride in the quality of the Kent schools. This pride is reflected in the many school/business partnerships that have been designed and maintained to help Kent students gain an appreciation for, and knowledge of, the area's businesses and the opportunities that exist for meaningful training and future employment.
The new Kent High School will be a facility that will stand the test of time and provide the greatest opportunities for students who pass through its hallways.
Kent's newest high school will have:
0 A significant main entry to draw into the heart of the school.
0 A compact organization in lieu of a sprawling campus plan.
0 A school program that integrates academic, career and special needs.
0 Architecture that will support and provide spaces to develop community
partnerships for technical, academic, artistic, and cultural experiences for student instruction.
0 A common space to provide a place for socialization among young people and a
community focal point.
Kent's newest high school will be:
A successful center of community use and a source of community pride.
An inviting, highly personalized "learning community" that supports diverse educational programs and activities in a setting conducive to successful teamwork.
Designed to accommodate a wide range of educational programs, services, and activities needed to ensure each student's success in school and preparation for adult life.
Designed to accommodate changing educational requirements and needs that influence what is taught and how it is taught.
Designed to enable students and staff members access and ease of use of diverse technologies that support teaching and learning to prepare students for future changes.
The Relationship between Designers and Users
Designing an educational building does not only mean applying the new methodological system that educators are now developing, but also making feasible the use of new facilities by the members of the educational community that live around the school, for their educational and social activicities. The relationship between architect and students is as important as the continous interchange of ideas between designers and community. Both, students and community are the main receivers of the architect's work, and both have a very important role in the success of the educational design.
We know that the school of today is not only for the teaching use. Also the entire educational community will utilize its complementary spaces for cultural and sport activities after the students hours. That's why community means for us a very important range of users, that we must have in mind to design any new educational space. Therefore, when we are working with this kind of buildings, the previous reception of ideas have to collect not only the new suggestions for the pedagogical methods, but also the most proper solutions for the community use in cultural, sporting and social activities. This means that planning a new school has to start with a special interchange of ideas among designers, teachers, students and community members, in order to develop the most useful spaces for all of them.
If we follow the traditional steps of organizing an educational complex, I think, that the two most important aspects of the planning process are:
The previous talks and interviews with the future users, to know in the most exact manner their ideas about how they think the requirements for the new building - and
The final evaluation when the building facilities will be working in all its sections. This process will be made with the essential informations obtained through the users opinion.
Let me analyze each of these steps. In the first aspect, the architect has to work like a therapist, inquiring all the thougts which one of the future users have about the spaces and functions that they will need, and how they consider the school facilities for their educational and cultural activities. All those ideas will be collected in order to prepare an architectural brief which will answer the requirements of all the potential users. The architect will evaluate this information, organizing a list of aspects in favour of the main ideas, and also an enumeration of the aspects that he considers not appropriate for the new spaces. A detailed study of needs, results and alternative solutions must be elaborated before the design, in order to answer the real community necessities. Users must know that a certain range of problems can emerge if the architect's brief is not properly prepared.
One of the most conflictive problems in the architectural work is the design of the complementary spaces of the school, such as sport facilities, assembly and lecture halls, libraries, etc., which will be used by the students and the community members in different hours, and with seperate accesses. Designers have to elaborate a special study of these spaces in order to obtain the best results for these two different kinds of users.
No doubt, that it is a must to evaluate the location and access of these common spaces, and the special equipment that will be necessary for the use of all of them and by different kind of people. The flexibility conditions and the possible structure adaptibility will be also two of the aspects that the designer has to study in the new building in order to solve future problems which can emerge during the school activities.
In the evaluation of the final results, the architect will receive a lot of remarks and comments from users about the work of the different spaces with suggestions about changes and/or alterations in certain sectors of the educational facilities. He will analyze this information in permanent contact with the educational authorities, and will elaborate a final report with his opinion about the most important remarks, and maybe he will suggest some alterations or adaptibili-ties in specific sections of the building which can be adjusted for a better work.
To realize this final enquire, it is advisable to prepare a special report with a series of questions, not Only about the functions of each section, but also with the suggestions of the maintenance conditions, and all its possible adjustments. This evaluation will cover all the aspects of the building, from the teaching and the community activities , to the conditions of the fixed and mobile equipment. In this case, the designers team will evaluate in detail each one of the possible changes to decide, if it is a real problem, and will organize the solution of the trouble. However, not all the information received could be specific problems of the building, but only a failure of the educational activity. The suggestion in that case is to explain the problem to the leaders of the school and find the solution, not linked with the building construction. Nobody likes to make changes when the building is finished and it is working in an acceptable manner. But the adjustments of certain sections for technical reasons could be a necessary work that the designer has to accept in benefit of the users activity.
Finally I want to say that not all the users are in the same way to utilize the educational facilities. In the South-American countries, and in certain communities with special social problems, a lot of troubles appear that make it very difficult to obtain a satisfactory result in the educational building use.
Maybe, a lack of the belonging sense and the aggressive attitude of certain portion of the nearby community, brought about the fact that the relationship between designers and users could not be entirely satisfactory. It could be reflected in vandalism against the educational building, which its reasons vv,ill enter surely in the field of the social physicology. But the architect can face this serious problem only if he realizes certain works with the community, developing in it and in his educational design, the sense that the new facilities will belong to all of them, and it will bring a remarkable improvement in their educational and social level. The community will receive then the whole facility as not something strange and distant that doesn't concern them; they will see it as their own, and will contribute to collaborate with the designer in the work to transform the educational building in a facility for all of them.
The vandalism will certainly be reduced, but we know that it will be impossible to end with it totally. Maybe it can be reduced to a minimum expression, and it will allow an acceptable use of the common facilities.
We have in my country a lot of examples about this problem that we want always to resolve. We try in any case, before building a school, to contact the local people in some community organizations, such as political committees, local sport clubs, and if there are, labour organizations. Special people prepared for this job, try to explain to them the advantages of having a nearby new school which will resolve the education of the children, not to go to distant schools, or not to go at all. Also they try to remark the benefits of having a cultural center in that school which will help the adult people to improve their poor knowledge, and in certain cases to utilize the school as a facilitiy for sport and cultural purposes. When the local community agrees to take care of the future school, and when we are sure that vandalism will be reduced to its minimum expression, we start to develop the construction of the new school.
In a lot of cases the preservation of the school has a positive result, but in others it has not. We know that in this last case it happens when the school does not attract enough the people's interest, because their leaders don't organize special community activities. In those cases,.the school lost its attraction, and the sense of belonging starts to decline. Surely, that kind of schools will be the most frequent targets of the youngsters attacks.
UlA WORKING GROUP "EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL SPACES"
"Designers and Users"
"Designer and School User Cooperation in Finland"
Comprehensive school education in Finland has for close to twenty years already been the responsibility of the municipalities. The state has maintained a few special schools, such as those focusing on the teaching of the disabled. Vocational institutions have always been the responsibility of the municipalities, local federations, or the state.
Up till only a few years ago school administration in Finland was highly centralized. The National Board of General Education (NBGE) (now the National Board of Education (NBE)), a central agency subordinated to the Ministry of Education, in former years issued the curricular framework to be observed throughout the country, also approving and confirming the textbooks and other teaching materials to be used in the nation's schools. The NBGE also checked and approved the building plans of schools, when state financing, also if only partial funding, was applied for for the construction work. The NBGE further issued the norms regulating the design and building of schools.
This has entailed that the municipalities have had very little say in determining the activities and educational content of their schools. Therefore, also the school buildings throughout the country have, to a very large extent, copied each other due to the uniform steering of the quality and content of school houses through common building standards.
In recent years, central administration in education has been the object of a very thoroughgoing decentralization, where powers have been delegated to the local level, i.e. the individual municipalities and schools themselves. All state-owned schools will now be put under municipal ownership with the exception of the universities and other higher education institutions that will remain in state ownership. The special agency, NBE, subordinated to the Ministry of Education, today merely issues general national curricular guidelines, leaving the municipalities enough latitude to draft their own also school-specific curricula, where special areas like music, physical education, mathematics, foreign languages and so forth, are emphasized. Today, the schools also are free to choose their own textbooks and other teaching materials. The standard of teaching, though, is still controlled throughout the country through nation-wide final examinations/tests.
Also the architectural design of schools has been freed from its former restraints. No national norms are issued any longer and whatever remains of an earlier regime has been turned into general instructions and recommendations. In principle, the municipalities are at liberty, w thin the limits of their local budgets naturally, to construct school edifices in the shape and content of their choice. The Ministry of Education still grants financial support towards school construction costs and now without any foregoing approval of the building plans or inspection of the finished work.
The character, content and methods of teaching are rapidly changing. An open acquisition of knowledge and the student's own responsibility for his learning are on the increase, Cooperational and interactive studies are replacing teaching steered from above. Students are trained to assimilate investigational, experimental, and independent modes of study. Schools are turning into local and communal activity and learning centres.
All of these administrative, contentual and functional changes constitute a turning-point in the architectural planning of Finnish schools, putting great pressure on future school designers and users. The importance of cooperation between school designers and users will have to come increasingly to the fore in order that the schools may develop into educational institutions, capable of meeting the real needs of tomorrow.
2. Process of designing school buildings
The need for new schools grows in step with the growing size of the pupil/student forecasts made and monitored by the municipal authorities. When the forecasts indicate the need for a new building or the adding-to of an old one, a calculation of the demand for space is made, taking into consideration the number of students, the curriculum, the distribution of teaching hours, and the prospective areas of stress in teaching. The NBE, when needed, extends its assistance to the municipalities in drawing up the necessary facility program. Concurrently with this, the construction schedule is fixed.
First the municipality appoints a principal for the duration of the planning and construction, who, more often than not, is also appointed principal of the finished school. In collaboration with the municipal authorities the principal takes time to ponder the functional contents and prospective areas of educational emphasis of the school.
Next comes the time to choose the head designer of the school, the architect, who is selectec as the result of competitive bidding or an architectural design competition. The design competitions may be either restricted and invitational or competitions open to all architects. Competitive biddings usually end in the cheapest offer being accepted; in open competitions functional and contentual excellence are additional deciding factors. Moreover, in Finland combined price and quality competitions are gaining ground, where in addition to the quoted price a design proposal is handed in for the future school.
This phase completed, the designer and user finally meet. The representative of the school (principal) may not necessarily have been able to influence the choice of designer, at least not when the designer is chosen exclusively on the basis of biddings. All special designers such as the construction, heating and ventilation, and electrical engineers are, almost without fail, selected on the basis of competitive bidding.
A representative of the school authorities, of the building authorities, and of the users and all the designers form a design committee assembling twice a month. The task of the committee is to coordinate the functional, contentual and financial planning of the project.
The most important solutions as regards the future of the school are made at the outset of the planning, in the drafting phase of the project. During this phase the architect and the representative of the school have to discuss in detail the functional and contentual objectives of the school. The school representative may get support for his views from the rest of the staff, if the rest of the staff, at this point, has already been selected. At best, the future principal of the school may have been able to influence the selection of the school's future staff, making possible the drafting of the contentual programme of the school in collaboration with the other teachers.
It is imperative that the "chemistry" works between the architect and the principal of the school. It is desirable that both persons are kindred spirits and able to work together. A problem during
discussions and in regard to the fulfilment of desires is the lack of a common technical language. Architects and educators should be able to understand each other's professional ways of thinking, concepts, practices and ideals. The pressure also is different between the two during the drafting stage of the project:
the architect is wrestling with his schedule, haste and the budget, the teacher with instructional problems and the planning of the school's timetable. Another problem is comprehending the results of the work of the other party. Teachers are not always qualified to read blueprints and constructional drawings and may, therefore, sometimes be genuinely taken aback when they see the finished building: "Is this it?" The architect should be able to explain his plans in a way that is easily comprehensible to all. The functional aims of the teachers may also remain vague and attention be drawn to matters of secondary importance, like the location of the wall sockets and the coffee machine in the staff room.
The teachers ought to have a functional vision of the curricula to be implemented and of the teaching methods and situations of the new school, which the architect, in his turn, ought to be able to link up with his own architectural vision of the building to be. When these visions are diffuse, very ordinary, traditional, and accustomed pedagogical and architectural solutions will prevail.
3. Reflections on how to improve the architectural design of schools
The successful building of a school edifice replete with satisfied users once it is finished will best be realized, if, before the actual planning of the new building, an enthusiastic teaching and managerial staff, committed to the curriculum and the educational objectives of the school, have been selected. The staff in conjunction with the municipal school authorities then draw up a dimensional design scheme for the school, laying down, at the same time, the functional and pedagogical objectives.
Next the teaching staff arranges a seminar for the proposed designer candidates or contracto-s, where the curriculum, the functional idea and vision of the school are presented.
After the seminar. a competition for the designers is announced to be judged concordant to considerations of quality and functionality, but also economy.
The architect once chosen, the design process goes on in cooperation with the rest of the planning committee and representatives of local administration.
The continued and further training of principals should include constructional themes like the interpretation and comprehension of blueprints and building plans. Future teachers should be encouraged to study the possibilities for the use of different facilities and to experiment with new uses while they are still in basic training.
The architects ought to learn better to get acquainted with the running of a school, the pedagogical thinking involved, any new teaching methods and technologies. They ought also to learn to better explain their ideas in a way that is comprehensible to all.
Users will be satisfied only when they feel that they have been able to participate in all the solutions relative to their new school house.
And last but not least. How to take into consideration also the views of the actual customers, the pupils/students? Do the designers lend a sufficient ear to their wishes in the planning phase? The truth, unfortunately, is that the views of the students are not heeded sufficiently in the planning of what will be the work milieu of children and young people, influencing their daily lives far into the future.
The Royal Institute of Technology School of Architecture
Professor 0lle Wahlstrom
Paper to UTA Working Group "Educational and Cultural Spaces" Seminar 4-7 Sept. 1995 at Konstanz.
The Design Process when Users participate. Introduction
In the good old times an english Lord could say to his architect - please design me a castle in style - and the Lord know rather well what kind of castle he could expect.
Unfortunately or fortunately the design process of today is more complicated and unpredictable than it seems to be to the Lord.
In my paper I will try to summerize a few observations of more than 25 years experience of schoolbuilding design with different sorts of users participation as well as some hint of the research works in the field. It means it will not be any case studies presented.
In Sweden users participation was introduced as reverberations of the
so-called students revolution of 1968 with its demand for peoples participation i all kinds of processes in the society. Simple one way to widen the democrasy on grass-roots' level.
The benefit of users participation
Increased feeling of well-being for users when they take part in the creation of the new invironment,
Influence and responsibility on the work-place satisfy basic human requirements.
Improving motivation in the daily work at school.
The users have the possibility to contribute with considerable functional knowledge to the design work.
Thanks to users participation is it possible to get a better product for the schoolbuilding manager.
- To improve the decision material for local politicians and the project group.
Of course we can find many other arguments for users participation but also against. One can also have some doubt on some of the arguments.
But to get benefit of users participation it's crucial how to get users to understand the design process in order to find out in wich way they should participate. Of course it's not only one simple way of users participation. But I have a feeling that many architects and users are just happy about the opportunity to participate and don't think of the different background of architects and users.
The architects attitude to users participation
There are many different views of the matter of users participation among practising architects.
Many architects support users participation by deep conviction considering the advantages both for• the user and the architects. in short those architects are thruc beliefer in users participation.They also try to make users influence real.
- Other architects apply users participation for reasons of opportunism. "One have to show oneself as a progressive architect". With such an attitude the result can only be half-hearted.
We can also find some arhitects who openly or hidden dissociate themself from users participation.
How to select / elect representatives of the users?
The way the users representatives are selected or elected are essential for the quality of the result. I have met three different ways of connecting users to the
- The different unions for teachers and other professions employed in the school select there representatives. It means they are active persons in there respective union. Some of them "professional in users participation" elected in true democratic order. Mostly the are not going to teach in the new school. This is a key point. Is it better to have users participating in the design process who also intend to work in the new schoolbuilding than unions representatives? Most people will agree. But the problem is that a schoolbuilding must function in its main structure even after the teachers who worked there when the school was new have left.
It's natural that a teacher who shall work in a school he or she has participate in the design process in order to influence the design pay more attention to the area who include rooms for there specific subject. Particularly if you are elected from your subject's union.
Frankly speaking we have to notice the "Christmas eve syndrom". Some user think that participation means more money than usual to spent.An attitude which can be hard to change.
With representatives elected of the unions it`s an obvius risk that comfort aspects will be given higher priority than pedagogical and environmental aspects which must be the superior tasks. ( Large and very well equiped teachers room with kitchenette is the classic example in Sweden ).
Another way to establish a user group for participation in the design team, is that the Schoolboard or the Schoolbuilding committe select a couple of capably and dedicated teachers to join the design group.The teachers are not selected to supervise the space for there own subject but instead to look after the wholeness. The idea is also that the users will have a specific interest in participation because it will be there own working invironment.
Remaining staff (porter, school-hostess, administration people etc.) are unfortunately often overlooked. It's a pity because they often have a wide and unique 'experience of who to run a school "outside" the classroom.
in some highschool projets are even students involed with sometimes can give fresh ideas.
How to get started ?
My experience is that, as soon as the project-/reference group is established, the best way to get started is to make a short study trip (2-3 days ). It's the best way to learn to know each other fast under informal and exiting circumstances. During the excursion the group, study 2-3 good examples of the same type of school the group is going to be involved M. To users a real building is telling them much more than dozens of drawings. The group also met colleagues working in the schools visited, discuss with them and really get "inside information" about function and working invironment. Even for architects good examples of built invironment are always very concrete and efficient to study.
During the design process the architect must be prepared to answer questions such as " why don't we use the same lay-out as one of the schools we visited together and you said it was an exellent solution". You had to explain. Yes it was a very good solution for that, site,time and the way the used that school-building. But what we are trying to create together is different, because it's other circumstances, site, time, economy, size, administration, type of education the teachers whant to perform etc.
But of course a sensible architect use ideas from school-buildings visited if they enhance the design. To take good ideas and melt them into your own visions is the way most of the architecture is developing even if some self-suffcient architect deny it. It's simply belong to the tradition of culture.
The Design Process
Before the collaboration between users and architects start it is fair to explain to the users what kind of process they will be involde in. Otherwise they can get unrealistic expectations about the influence they can have, but also get a better understanding of in with way there knowledge can enrich the project.
I also think it's good to the architect to analyze the process to be able to explain at to the users. I am not so sure all architects have a proper image of the process.
The essence of the design process.
I concentrate my discussion to the sketch design phase. The architects way of working is in princip the same through the process but the most significant part is the sketch design phase. It's a phase when most of the future building take shape and therefore the most important phase to participate in. As I alredy said, to do a good contribution to the project it's crucial to the layman as the user are, to get a proper information of the architect about the essence of the process. And that is a rather delicate pedagogical achievement to the architect. In order to understand why it can be problematic we have to analyze the sketch design process a little.
The sketch design process is an elusive activity. Therefore it is very easy to misunderstand each another when discussing the essence of the sketch design process and sketching. To make it as clear as possible I would like to express what the sketch design process means to me.
The sketch design process is a creative and interactive search process, by which the architect bring ; together, organize and by processing melts together a row of in themselves incommensurable factors - such as functional, technical, climatical, economical, social, aesthetical to a physical shape and at its best to a piece of art - to architecture. It is a process which in the beginning is of an outline character but step by step will take on a more detailed and concrete character.
Of all types of creative processes, the architect's sketch process is very rich in generating associations and metaphors. Aristoteles wrote "to be master of the metaphor is a sort of genius" because a good metaphor is an intuitive understanding of similarity in unsimilarities. To master ambiguosness and plurality and to have intuition and be able to mange the metaphor are the corner stone of all creative work. Not least the architect's sketch process.
The sketch design process and type of knowledge needed.
We also have to be clear about what kind of knowledge we are dealing with. The architect's professional knowledge, tacit or explicit, might be classified into three categories; practical knowledge (skill), knowledge by experience and theoretical knowledge.
It is obious that we can't express all our knowledge explicitly to other people. Some important parts are tacit.Tacit knowledge is a type of knowledge we can't learn by formal studies, only training and experience.This type of knowledge plays an important role and is indeed central in the architect's creative work. My point is that true tacit knowledge can't be verbalized to other people in a proper way.
Here we have a problem specially dealing with non professional people as users are regarding design work. ( They are professional in teaching and running a school ). If you ask me why I take so much time to get into this problem I will answer. Because it is abolutely crucial to try to explain to users what kind of process they are going to be involved in. And do it at the first meeting with the projectgroup in with user participate before the real work start. It will reduce the amount of missunderstanding between the architect and the user.
When the architect has informed the users about the design process in a satisfactory way it's time to organize the mutual work.(Part of the information
can well be given during the study trip.) It means practical items such as; timetable for meetings, type of material for different meetings (written text, sketchcs/drawings,perspective and other illustrations, etc ).
The users had to be involved from the very beginning, before the brief is drawed up. If not the users get a fieling that the most important part for influence already is fix. Then the rest (if not silence ) can be perceived as rather meaningless.
Type of participation
The users' participation will differ from phase to phase. If we divide the design process only in three main phases, brief/programme, sketch design (preliminary drawings ) and working drawings,we can study participation in phase by phase. But first a few remarks about visualisation.
The architects foremost tool is, as we all know, not the written words but pictures such as, freehand sketches, drawings, perspectives and models.
How the architect present his/hers project has a great influence on the users' judgement. It's rather easy to "seduce" a group of layman by visualisation. To be fair the architectr had to present the project exhaustive but correct and as close to the prospective building as possible. No cosmetics!
Users mainly have a real difficulties to visualize a three dimensional space from a two dimensional drawings. Thats why we always should use perspectives in order to make it easier for the user to get an idea of how the schoolbuilding will look like when being built.
The computer technique has given the architects a tremendous weapen for visualisation. It's fast and easy to produce perspectives, from outside and inside and from many directions. All very exciting.
The computer can really help the users to better understanding of the design. During the latest years computer animation and video visualitions have become more and mote used by architects which also can improve the understanding of the design scheme. But even here a word of warning. I have observed several times that some architects are so fascinated and absorbed of the computer so that they used to much energy om computer work instead of improving the design scheme. Use the computer as a good complement to the manual work not as a replacement.
Brief / programme
The users had to play a main roll and in reality work out the brief together with the Local School Board. The brief should be based on, national and local rules, economy, level, amount of students and a mutual attitude to pedagogical goals and every days way of teaching.
During the brief phase the architect play a subordinate roll only scrutinizing the brief to try to find out if there are some information wich can givr rise to obstacles later on during the design. The architect also ought to be involved and comment the brief in the light of his/hers previous experience.
The controversies during this phase mostly take place between the users and the Local School Board of obvious reasons.
Sketch design / preliminary drawings
Now the process enter upon a phase in wich the architect is testing the brief's data and intentions through idea-sketches, Sketches are in the beginning often very simple but (if they are god skeches) illustrating the architect's principal vision. To express the vision he/she use the architect's ordinary tools; freehand drawings, sketches, sketch drawings, perspectives, models etc. and short explanatory text.
Refering to my analyze of the essence of the sketch design process it's crucial for the understanding of the architect's illustrations of the project that the architect at meetings with the reference group can make his/hers visions alive. But in a proper way not trying to seduce the users. The tacis part of the knowledge/skill is always a problem.
It's an interactive process and discussions during a meeting are leading to revised proposal. And so the process will go on over and over again if necessary.
The most controversal situation will arise when users said,"may be the function is o.k. but the exterior looks awful". What to do? Of course the architect must think it over.Is it something in the criticism? If so the architect had to work the project over ones again. If not he/she had to explain the intention in a even more illustrative way than before. But,and this is very important for the architect's responsibility for the architecture, never allow the reference group to
put a question of architecture for voting. To feel democratic or polite, when users involved, some architects present two or three design alternativ at the same time and ask the users about there opinion. Which is the best proposel? That is not only that the users get confuced it's also a misunderstanding of the architect's responsibility. You can't vote and take majority decision in matters concerning art and architecture. Even if the architect starts with more than one idea he/she had to make up there mind before presenting the schemee to the users. The architect must belief in the scheme presented if not. How to persuade the users to belief in the scheme if the architect said it does'nt matter. It's pseudo-democratic and absurd. If an architect think this is a comfortable way to solve problems he/she should not be trusted as a serious architect any more.
A design process with users involved is more time-consuming than without and had to. To try to shorten the design process 6 mounth or so on a product which is expected to last for 50-100 years is not wise. When a design process with users participating function it adds certain qualities to the built invironment and it's important to stand up for.
As the process proceed the problem to discuss will be more and more detailed and the controverse often easier to handle.
Usually users are not so interested in technical solutions and understand that they can't contribute to the field.
Interior design process
Surface material, colours,lighting, flooring, furniture and equipment are of highest interest for the users. They are workingso closed to all this every day in the school,and have a resonable attitude of being competent in the domain. And to some extend they are. But for a layman it's difficult to perceive the relation between the building design and the interior design wich is important for a serious architect and influence the interior design.
The interior design phase use to be the most intense phase with many meetings and loudly arguments. It can be difficult for the architect to keep cool, listen and try to assort all proposals comming up, in order to make the best synthes. And never let the users have the responsibility for a part ( ex. colours) of the totality. It's not criticism of the users. More an appeal to the architect to be aware of his/hers responsibility.
It's important how the users participation are organized, and a smooth working reference group will help. But the most important is if all people in the group are inspired and working unselfish with an understanding of the essence of the design process. In other words it depends on people involved, as always. It's a trivial conclusion but confident.
Design of the Lecture and Instruction Rooms -
Design of the Meeting Rooms
The tuition in schools, educational institutions and finally in universities, requires actually considerable exigencies as to concentrate the attention of students, but also spiritual power of professors in attracting their students for several consecutive hours and sometimes for the whole day.
Owing to monotony of these activities even during the best and interesting lectures, seminars or other professional work, there comes to a certain apathy of senses, tiredness and over-all-ill-feeling of students and professors.
The aim of this lecture will be to try to penetrate into the milieu of the school with the new sight and help to find the starting points that considerably eliminate the psychic burden of the given setting_ and foster, in the same time, the creativity of teachers and students.
2. The classification of the tuition spaces (rooms)
From the point of view of the current design process, but also from the user's practice, we distinguish the traditional instruction premises of these categories:
basic or individual class-rooms
special laboratories, computer lecture-rooms and the like
gymnasiums - recreational, relaxation rooms
When seeking for the suppression of stereotypes, it is necessary to revalue the system of tuition, which usually persists in moving itself even today on the level of scheme - accepting information, memorising or eventual practising and control of mastering the subject matter. This way of classic instruction is to some extent, continuing to persist in different variations. Up to this time, although the Czech philosopher and pedagogic reformator, Jan Amos Komensky, already 300 years ago, as is well known, had carried his program of learning by playing.
From the point of view of the pedagogues, this approach is, however, more challenging, but on the other hand stresses the mutual partnership of students and teachers.
One of the reasons of this situation is, to a certain degree, the stereotyped setting of the tuition school rooms. The class-rooms use to be arranged to very narrow limited purpose and students and teachers are mostly moving from one room to another.
Where is then the reserve in the actual technical state and outfit of the school? New possibilities are afforded by creating the polytechnic spaces/rooms as the supplement to specialised and universalised classes and lecture halls.
Besides this, it is necessary to include also untraditional spaces such as respiriums, schools and towns. Thereby the process of teaching is dynamited and makes also possible the objectivity of the pedagogic approach.
From this point of view. it is possible to supplement the classification of teaching spaces by polyfunctional ones:
closed-adapted corridors, vestibules, respiriums
half-open-porches, terraces, canvas-covered objects
open school yards, embankment/water -fronts/. parks, squares etc.
The formation of such spaces is well possible many times even in the existing school facilities without considerable financial needs by adopting and complementing the existing school spaces, For instance, by partly covering the school yard by means of canvas foil, creation of small sitting areas for the group tuition in respiriums, or eventually in the entrance part of the school, further also to transfer the part of cabinets to glass-display cases to the school corridors, or by realising the part of teaching process outside the class or as the case may be.
3. The conception of the modern school
The philosophy of modern school, from the point of view of the teaching process, consists in a right proportion of the daily 'rations* of the spiritual, physical and psycho-motoric burden.
In order to create the required environment, it will be necessary in the course of designing/projection but also in creating norms and normative requirements, to consider the creation of spaces with new qualities.
In contrast to the traditional multi-purpose classes, it will be also necessary to extend them of new functions, such as for instance, the creation of stage and chair store close by gymnasiums, in order to make use of these as the cultural-social halls and find acceptable solution for both covered and open spaces.
From the point of the disposition it is also possible to orientate part of classrooms into the yard/where the quiet milieu is required/ and part of the class-rooms to solve the inner communications with the extended respiriums/respiria with the possibility of using them for the group teaching process beyond the class-rooms.
It is possible to solve terraces, or summer class-rooms directly in the terrain and where there exist conditions are as the case may be.
The extending development of schools and school facilities shows considerable reserves, mainly from the point of view to proper teaching process, but also in the way of utilisation of the existing teaching spaces. Not in the last turn, however, the main efforts have to be made in the direction to create the new type of school. which, as the system, will enrich the existing method of the educational process with the help to create school spaces with new qualities.
I believe/assume, my lecture will, to some extent, contribute to this aim
WG EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL SPACES
DESIGN FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS
While 1 present my lecture about managing problems on design for public primary schools in Brazil. I will be showing you some slides with pictures of 15 schools built in different municipalities of SAo Paulo State. designed by me for the government.
As 3ou will see. these images may illustrate the content of my lecture.
These great buildings were designed to receive schools for future teachers of basic education and they reach 3.800 square metres each. You be able to see that. in spite of the diversity of the landscapes, the buildings are very similar. In Met, the educational authorities, due their hurry, strongly recommended that I should conceive and use just 4 standard building blocks. Therefore, only possible variation would the position of the blocks and the placement of optional brise-soleil in front of the windows. In the constructive point of view I should use only one building system. that means structural walls in concrete blocks, in two floors. The contractors had told them that this system, in that circumstances, would be the quickest and chippest way.
This problem made me search for the least harmful arquitetonic solution.
My long experience in the field of administration of school projects and in the realm of architectonic design itself. facing these kind of circumstance made me think about, what now I have the opportunity to present to you.
According to the most reliable data of 1993 I believe there are around 195.000 schools in Brazil with a population of around 30 million students enrolled in the primary level. The exact number we will have next year the complete data of the 5.000 municipalities spread in 26 states of the Brazilian Federation.
Anyway this is a meaningful number for a country with 152 million of inhabitants unregularly spread in 8,5 million square kilometres of its territory with 4 diferent hours and 16.000 kilometres of boarder lines. More than 75% of the population is urban and presents a population growth of 1.93% per year. The fact that Brazilian Constitution garantees, teorically. free fundamental education to all its citizens of 7 to 14 years old, it oblies the government to keep almost 80 million square metres of school facilities of many different kinds, conceptions, formats, dirnentions, styles and ages. These amount, according to different iniciatives of local and national levels, is constantly increased by new constructions and refurbishings.
Nevertheless. there is much more to be done, not only because of the 3.5 million boys and girls out of schoolls or the bad distribution of the buildings in the territory. but also because of the of the dinamism of internal migration that happens in many regions of the country. The illiteracy represents 20% of the people in the age group older than 14. This data is not precise for several reasons but we know that 40% of the enrolled students on the first grade that conclude the 8 grades of the basic level take 12 years to conclude the 8th grade. The drop out is very high due to the fact of the weak preparation of the teachers. their very low salaries and some chaotic managing.
But the statistic data indicates that illiteracy rate decreased 6% in the last decade. The anual investments in public education is now' around 30/0 of the national gross product and intent to increase according to the new policies implementeded in all levels. I can say now that there are several current projects aiming the enhancements of the teaching-learning process all over the country. There are several sistematic evaluations and innovations in process. We have right now very positive perspectives for the economical development and by having so we will be able to solve democratically the serious problems of unemployment. subemployment. poverty. criminality, ecological unbalancement etc.
These few numbers indicate the hugeness of the task for the educational administrators in Brazil and, perhaps in most of the world. Particularly to the architects and engineers there is a great responsability, to indicate solutions for the production, use, maintenance and evaluation of the school facilities. Therefore, it is important to rethink the dinamics of the social expenditure in such way that they became a reality. in spite of the financial and administrative limitations and the wave of mistaken political pragmatism.
In order to question and identify the issue of the architectonic school design. we have to analyse the total circumstances.
For this. lets remember that due to the colonial background of Brazil and of many other countries, the main mentality in the school facilities management. like in many other aspects of the culture. is centralizer. That means that the power structure reflects the unfair income distribution and its administration is too much bureaucratized. This is an excessive verticalized hierarchy in many and complex levels of decision. aggravated by the geographical extension of the country and by the unequal distribution of the lands wealth.
So, the great distance between the final users and the governmental managers blocks the free expression of the wills, the information and the practice of the democratic control. The concrete problems may be analysed by the administrator from the statistic data and by doing so the decisions are made in a hurry because there are mishaps. hindsights and. therefore, no good perception of the problems and no consensus in the most eficient guidelines. The planning of the facilities in this level can not be fast and is always outdated and thus cannot use transparent procedures.
The heavy and uneficient structure with the centralized management cannot move and evolute with the necessary speed and flexibility to solve each problem. using at last arbitrary solutions. becalming barriers to the individual criathity. harming the design of the school facilities in the national and local levels.
In the specific case of buildings with social interest, the main justification for the centralized administration would be the obtention of the so called economy of scale. Within this taught there is the idea of the decreasement of prices when purchasing large quantities of goods and services. maximazing the application of knowledge acumulated by a few experts who would not like to lose their power of decisions.
Neverthless. I recognize that in certain historical dificult periods the strongly centralized solution had some good advantages. but its continuous and limitless use is again harmful. Some reasons for this is that the staff of the engineering and architectural departments tends to implements technical solutions to genetical. formal and strict, tending to be many times inadequate to most of the real. concrete. specific and local problems.
When one applies arbitrary repetitively and stereopide architectural problems, one creates a managing system too complex and bureaucratical. So. it is generated a false scale economy, where many wastes and losses can be easily identified. once they are covered and not accounted, making the performance control evaluation more difficult. We know that due to the excessive centralized management many school facilities are built by a design with repetitive, unjustified, unfair and uggly architectural standards. These projects, many times incompleted, do not consider the local caracteristics, cultural values, weather etc. As a consequence. one have a school environment whith a lower quality than what we could obtain with the same price. So, the unreal scale economy that I have mentioned before save only the direct cost of the design conception.
However. in our current world. in order to obtain a better quality design. 1 am sure that the activities of surveyor, planning. construction, operation, maintenance an evaluation of the school building net should be the tasks of the local government. inspired by the most interested users.
One of the good consequences of the descentralization (diferent of disconcentration of the responsible departments), could be to stimulate the formation and conservation of technical teams based locals. These teams nowadays are dependents on the central governments, woud be more professionaly stimulated bacause of their direct contact of the particularities of the problems presented by the real users. So, the central agencies should have only the tasks related to the planning the political and the provision of the financial resourses and also, the difusion of the experiences and scientific-technical knoledge.
The improvement of the arquitectural design quality should be assured by a well studied project considering the users will and possibilities in each case. The drawings and the texts should be considered important technical reference documents to make the work contract.
Therefore, in our opinion the educational environment to be built in countries with similar centralized culture and mentality, where there are big schools nets. only recognized by statistical data, is necessary to promote a non bureaucratic change. This should be done by a more mature and not abusing on the use of statistical and scale thinking and through the strengtening of the human interests and local reality. The activities of design conception of primary schools should go to the comunities and its administrations.
JOAO HONORIO DE MELLO FILHO
Fax:(00)(11) 2210491 Tels:(55)(11) 2232929 & 2879483
Alameda Jain n. 99 a.14 Jardim Paulista
01420-000 Sao Paulo SP
THE CRAZY ORCHESTRA
As the theme of this meeting "Design and users" sugests, I'll present you an experience supported by SESC, and made by our office Teuba.
What's SESC ?
A little bit of its history:
Sesc has been making and operating cultural and sportive unities dedicated to tne leisure of the commerce employers and their relatives for many years.
In 1978, Sesc promoted many expositions specially designed for children took place in sao Paulo. We can list the exposition some of them: Alice in the wonderland with cennaries designed by the famous carnavalman Joaozinho 30; Pinochio with a huge whale and a snake whose interior could be visited.
Dueto the great success, the snake was transfered to the gardens of other Sesc's building and there it remained, for the children's pleasure, till the time and the use destroyed it. The animal was such a sensation that SESC diceded to make some permanent ones. For this purpose the architect responsable for the previus event designed an enourmous aligator. Children can enter throught its tail, walk inside the body and leave sliding along its fiberglass tongue.
Some months before the oppening of an unity in Itaquera (one of the poorest district in sao Paulo), SESC made a contest on ideas for children's leasure based on their previus experience.
Within the different proposals three were chosen : the "animals from the wood", the "theatre train", and the "crazy orchestra".
The animals from the wood
They are a permanent scennary made in a empty place surounded by woods trees, the ciment river, caverns, bridge, and tower are inhabited by huge animals.
The children can climb the him the snake, admire the deer, play with the capivarae, cross the bridge, observe the whole space from differents view points. Sometimes theatre plays take place, the actors appear from the woods and act whith the children. Project architect Marcia Benevento.
The theatre train
It has four wagons and is pulled by a tractor designed as a dragon. The train goes through the whole park, appearing here or there, in the square, near the swimming pools or anywhere else. It was designed to stimulate children's criativity and imagination, also trying to recover the old tradition of the circus, almost gone now. Each wagons contains a different surprise. one wagon with mirrors, the other whith clothes, hats and make-up, a third one with games and finally the stage wagon. Inside the train children can became almost everything.
The crazy orchestra
arquitetura e urbanismo s/c ltda fax 55 11 8201043
It is a play-ground whith 18 enormous toys/instruments that not only keeps the caracteristics of the traditional play-grond toys but also are instruments in pentatonic scale.
These toys/instruments were designed to enrich the childrish play at an open area that almost forget the importance of developing the sensorial abilities togheter with the motor ones.
These toys are very similar to the traditional instruments, as long as they are much bigger than the usual ones, a different design was made. They where also designed to stay in an open-area therefore are made of resistant materials such as iron, fiberglass and concrete.
A single child can play the instruments, however the number of avaliable musical notes increases when they organise themselves in small random groups.
All the sounds are mechanicaly produced, based on acoustics principles started directly by the user's moves. Observing the behaviour of the children on can verify that a great number of them try to understand how the instruments work, making experiences, or in groups, making "cientifc" arguments.
The project of these instruments was a great challenge, not only during design phase but also while their building, because there are no other similar experiences where one can be inspired.
We had no knowledge on mecanics engeneering, acoustics, and we are architects, not professionals musician.
Facing the challenge the aid of an architect-musician responsable for a barroque instruments factory (our colleague at the university) and a mechanic engeeneer whith experience in planes and motors were more than needfull.
The result was so good, that these professionals still work whith us, developing equipaments for theatre and others things.
The hole participation of a proffessional musician made possible the choise of sounds, that even when handomly mixed form a "real orchestra". Firstly we named it "crazy orchestra" nowadays people call it "magic orchestra"
The orchestra contains six brass and woodwind instruments, three string instruments and nine percussion instruments:
1.The bass and woodwind instruments
1.1. Coletive Flute
A toy composed of six mechanically winded flutes, two 0, two E and to G with pentatonic tuning: D,E,G,A,H.
The flute plays when the children turn the blower handle and others cover the orifices to modulate the musical notes. The flutes are supported by a structure whith an intricate form of pipes, which is used as a treader.
Composed of two keys built into the floor and two chambers with sound pipes, which have pentatonic turning with 16 musical notes. Each note has three sound pipes: the main one with a 8' flute stop, another one with one octave above, with a 4' flute stop and a third one with closed pipes. The tone variation is obtained with the manual ad ustments of the ruler registers.
Wren children jump on the keys the bellows are activated, which fill the presure chambers attached to the pipes.
arquitetura e urbanismo s/c ltda fax 55 11 8201043
It is similar to a traditional horn. It is built with brass pipes with 3" and 1 1/2" diametrs. It plays when children activate the machanical blower handle and others pressure the spoon registers. It has a 5 note pentatonic tuning.
1.4. Trumpet with Thirteen Pavillions
Works as a set of organ trumpets with a chord of up to 4 of the 13 existing notes. This instrument with pentatonic tuning, plays when children activate the levers and others pressure the sound tubes as stops. The mouthpieces are soprano sax, and the full air-retainer chamber with stops in the straight stretch.
1.5. Alpine Horn
Is composed of two pairs of hardwood horns, similar to the swiss alpine horns. They are interconnected in pairs by fiberglass slides. The horn pairs sound together, one pair in E 41.20hz, and the other in D 36.70hz, each horn being blown mechanically.
1.6. Contre Bassoon
Is a brass pipe toy, with "ladders" to be climbed by children. The sounds pipes are internal with smaller diameters, the mouthpiece has a double reed and the toy plays when one child activate the mechanical blower lever, and the other moduletes the notes by covering the orifices. It works as a thee note bass string: D 73.36hz, G 97.93hz and A 110.00hz.
2. String Instruments
It has the same shape as a traditional violin, sectioned at its base, however, ten times larger. It was built with hadwood, with its hollow center structured internally with pillars and metal girders. It only works with a harmonious sequence of each of the four strings. Its tuning is two octaves below a normal violin with the following notes: G 49.04hz, D 73.40hz, A 110.00hz and E 164.70hz.
2.2. The Crazy Guitar
A toy with a shape similar to a sectioned guitar, built with reinforced concrete. It is hollow and serves as a "little house" with the entrance placed behind the strings, with "little windows" in the front cover.lts sides covered with fiberglass, are slides accessible by the metal steps. The strings are attached to the guitar's finger board, and its lower part is fixed to a ressonance chamber built into the floor. The fixed notes with pentatonic tuning are the following : E, A, D, G, H and E.
A toy composed of a concrete shell, in the form of 1/8 of a sphere, supported at its apex by a steel pipe, where a harp with traditional function is attached, composed by a steel plate block where the string tuning pegs, ressonance chamber with wooden cover and 24 pairs of phosphorous bronze strings. There are 24 notes in pairs, from G 48.99lic lu D 1 174.00hz, in the penteluniu suele. The children play the harp by fingering the strings and using the space formed by the shell to play, as the sound is reflected by the sphere, which creates a few places where it is felt with greater intensity.
arquitetura e urbanismo s/c Itda fax 55 11 8201043
3.1. Hop & Skip Games ( Xylophone & Metalophone)
A toy that repoduces the traditonal form of game called "Hop & Skip". Each "home", when skipped into, activates a mechanism which hits a built-in key in a metal structured chamber. It is similar to the traditional xylophone and metalophone. With the xylophone the chamber covers are made of hardwood and has the following notes: C 523.26hz, D 587.32hz, E 622.26, F 698.46, F#739.67hz, G 784.00hz, A 880.00hz, B 932.32hz, H 987.76hz and C 1046.52hz.
The metalophone chamber cover are of metal and their notes are the following: C 523.26hz, D 587.32hz, Eb 622.26hz, E 659.26hz, F 698.46hz, G 784.00hz, A 880.00hz, H 987.76hz and C 1046.52hz.
A toy composed of a tubular 4" steel mast with metal plate end policarbonate panels at the top. A rope ladder is attached to this panel. A child grabs the ladder and runs around the steel mast to turn the rattle. The swirl of the panel causes the policarbonate plates to strike the notched part attached to the central mast, producing sound.
Composed of a tubular 3" steel mast, with metal and polycarbonate panels at its top It is activated by turn of the arch attached to the lower part of the mast. With the rotation of the upper panel the policarbonate plate strikes the notched part of the central mast.
Composed of a square spatial mesh structure built with steel pipes, where the following percussion instruments are installed: three stretched bronze plate tan-tams with diameters of 0.80, 0.90 and 1.00m; trays with polished bronze and hardwood sound cylinders; bronze plate orchestra attached to steel drums, made up of three sopranos, a pair of second voices, a pair of tenors, a pair of guitars and a bass with four plates.
3.5 Muffler with a Handle
Composed of eight mufflers from "Samba School" in four different sizes, supported by a steel tubular structure and covers with a glassfibre slide. The turn of the handle activates the drumsticks that beat on the mufflers. The drumsticks and the muffler skins are protected by a perforated metal plate. For the mufflers of grater diameter, there is a beat for every turn of the handle, and as the muffler sizes decrease, the number of beats per turn increases, allowing for a varied rhythmic composition.
Composed of Brickwork chambers with a height of 0.20m to 1.00m, as contiguos as a domino same. At each chamber a metal pipe arch is attached, where three pairs of bronze pipes are hung, which function as orchestra bells. The bell pairs are tuned: one fundamental, another in the fifth and the last pair in the octave, so that each chamber proauces a cnora. i ney are sounaea oy retracuoie plastic clappers. i ne turning is pentatonic: D 145.80hz, E 164.80hz,
G 196.00hz, A 220.00hz, H 246.90hz, D 293.70hz, E 329.60hz, G 392.00hz and A 440.00hz.
To conclude, we would like to state that the Crazy Orchestra was inaugurated one year ago, and we have been following up its performace since then. It became necessary to substitute several parts for other more resistant ones, as the intensity of use is greater
arquitetura e urbanismo s/c Itda fax 55 11 8201043
than was foreseen.( The use is very intensive 8.000 to 10.000 persons daily) At the moment we are redesigning a few intruments which will be installed in other localities, researching for less expensive materials in order to make the orchestra more accessible.
What surprise us the most, however, was the reaction of the children who frequent the park. Many of them manifest a desire to learn music regularly, others are more interested in the physical mechanisms which operate the instruments, a few become fascinated by the possibility of hammering the tan-tams for hours on end, almost producing a primitive beat, while others very delicately prees their ears to the violin to hear the sound vibrations. For us it was intersting to verify how diversified are the children's reactions to an identical collection of objects.
Authors of the above presented Projects:-
Animals from the wood: Marcia Benevento ( Architect)
Theatre Train : J.C.Serroni (Scenographer & Architect)
Crasy Orchestra: Christina de Castro Mello (Architect)
Rita Vaz (Architect)
Abel Santos Vargas(Architect& Musician) Alfredo Domscke (Engineer)
arquitetura e urbanismo s/c ltda
fax 55 11 8201043
LOURDES MELENDEZ & EDUARDO MILLAN
Project System for the Construction of Preschool Facilities
The Foundation for the Expansion of Preschool Enrollment -Fundapreescolar - was established in Vehezuela in 1990. Its main goal is to carry out a Social Development Project which is aimed at providing preschool education to young children, especially those who live under extreme poverty.
Since its foundation Fundapreescolar has been involved in the design and construction of preschool classrooms which includes the supply of furniture, equipment and instructional materials for children under six years of age.
The foundation is also concerned with the improvement of the educational quality at the preschool level, by offering teacher and supervisory training throughout the country.
The foundation has been conceived as a learning experience in the quest for new alternatives to reach. larger amounts of the target population.
The Project System for the construction of Preschool Facilities represents a continuous effort to provide an environment fit to the characteristics of young children, both in the formal and non-conventional education. The system is an example of the Venezuelan expertise in creating spaces for children.
Cecilia Vicentini de Martinez, Fundapreescolar's General Manager
Tecnica AFE, C,A. is a firm whose main experience has been in the area of esucational facilities, its staff is composed by architects, engineers and educators. The firm provides a variety of services ranging general investigation, technical and economical feasability studies for educational projects, including the following tasks: design construction, inspection and control of civil works, as well as maintenance programs.
At the present moment the firm is carrying out a Pilot Project for the Construction of 'Education for All Centers', which includes the design, construction and establishment of an operation system for two non-formal education facilities. The project is sponsored by UNESCO's Architecture for Education Unit and financed by the ELF Foundation; its main goal is to get the community involved in the conception, construction and operation of these Centers. At the same time, the firm is providing consulting services to FUNDA-PREE SCOLAR - a government funded Foundation that undertakes the construction of preschool facilities nationwide - in a pre-investment proposal to be financed by the World Bank. The main goal of this proposal is involving the community of users and non-government organizations, in the process of construction and maintenance of preschool facilities.
Towards this goal, Tecnica AFE, C.A. proposed the use of a Project System for the Construction of Preschool Facilities, which was developed in 1994 by the firm under a consulting contract with Fundapreescolar. The general conception of this system allows for the involvement of non-specialized workers, as well as the use of local materials and native construction techniques, characteristic of rural and indigenous communities. This is possible because the materials for the constructive elements proposed can be substituted, offering a wide variety of alternatives. Other advantages that this system offers are the possibility of a preset organization of the on site construction works, and the savings of building materials that come from the adequate dimensions of doors and windows.
Stages of the design process
Until 1989, the Venezuelan Government invested mainly on increasing the enrollment a the Elementary School Level, also called 'Basic Education'.
To this date the project systems that were developed took into consideration the educational, administrative and service requirements of the Basic Education Curricula (Elementary School), therefore evey space was designed to accomodate to the activities and the population (7 to 14 years old ) specific to this level.
Since there were no standards to estimate the area required for a preschool classroom, the Single Indicator used for the Basic Education Level was adopted as a norm. This indicator has not been updated since 1976.
- As a consequence, many preschools carried out their programs in classrooms that were intended for Basic Education activities, others used family houses and other kinds of spaces which were accondi-tioned for this purpose, but none of these fit the requirements of a preschool program.
Observations to the functional scheme of the Basic Education Project System
The system only allows two classroom floorplans as a minimum.
Building units larger than two classrooms can only be arranged linearly and in pairs.
When the number of required classroom is not even, the service area becomes under used.
Since both front and rear facades are set in the standard floorplan, it is difficult to adjust to the varying locations thath services such as electricity, water and sewage can have in different terrains. ° This system limits the possible growth of the facility to one whole structural two classrooms unit, as a result, the system becomes far oversized to meet the requirements of non conventional preschool programs.
Conclusions about the Space Requirement estimates for the Preschool Level:
Square Meters per Student
The use of a single index favors an inflexible functional scheme. This makes the system difficult to adjust to activities different to those for which it was intended.
The use of a single index as a norm should be replaced for a rank based index, in this way the Project System can be adapted to wide variety of requirements and conditions, such as changes in the educational needs, or availability of materials and technical resources.
Rank Based Norms
Concept: It is the interval located between minimal and maximal area allowances that are required to carry on any activity with adequate levels of confort.
Advantages: It allows a precise measure of the optimal dimension requirements for any activity or group of activities. In this case the activities considered are those of the preschool curricula.
Factors involved in the Calculus of a Rank Based Norm
Minimal Area Value
Minimal area dimension necessary to allow optimal performance in any activity.
Area Value Maximal area dimensions avoiding under use by excluding surfaces that will not be used. Design Criteria
Maximal area dimensions avoiding under use by excluding surfaces that will not be used.
Current Uses of the System
The system is very flexible and offers the following advantages:
Although the system can be used in a wide variety of circumstances, it is ideal for use in remote or inaccessible areas lacking the technical and material resources for construction.
Since the system accomodates for different materials and technical experience in construction, it promotes COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT by using local labor and materials.
Current Application Examples
1. Rural Sea Border Community east of the country:
a) Concrete Structure
b) Adobe Brick Walls !Stomped Earth Bricks)
- Local wooden beams
- Local wooden interior lining
- Covered with redslate shingles.
2. Southern native Community (Pemon Ethnia)
a) Ancient native constructive technology involving non conventional materials,
3. Urban marginal Community in the capital city.
a) Materials can be chosen freely since they are readily available, and there area enough technical resources available. The system solves the problem of adjusting to difficult terrains.
Designers and Users
Fort de l'experience acquise au cours de ma carriere, je reclame pour l'Architecte la paternite du projet dont le MaItre d'Ouvrage et les uti-lisateurs assument la maternite: Bonner la vie et assurer la croissance.
Je rappelle, que nous restons tres souvent le partenaire permanent d'une equipe dont les membres sont remplaces au fur et a mesure de l'avancement de l'etude et des travaux:
Le MaItre d'Ouvrage (Ministere) delegue ses pouvoirs des la programmation.
Le Financier controle a distance.
Les Responsables Techniques n'interviennent que partiellement.
Les Utilisateurs disposent des espaces et les font vivre.
Les Responsables de l'entretien n'interviennent que tardivement.
L'Architecte a pour mission (cas du Maroc):
de s'interesser au debat pedagogique permanent et d'en deduire les exigences spaciales.
de participer a la programmation de l'ouvrage a realiser.
de participer a la recherche du site (terrain le plus favorable au projet).
de contribuer aux etudes techniques concernant:
le sol et les structures adaptees
les reseaux: eau, electricite, assainissemeilt
les acces de la parcelle et les problemes de securite pour les enfants
les materiaux les mieux adaptes
5. d'obtentir l'autorisation de construire l'ouvrage projete (une reelle course d'obstacle)
de diriger la realisation en tenant compte de son role essen-tiel de prestataire de service aupres du Maitre d'Ouvrage.
6. de participer a la Reception et a la remise des espaces aux utili-sateurs, mais aussi et surtout (c'est une recommandation que j'adresse a tous nos etudiants)
7. de suivre l'evolution du projet realise et ses mutations pour mieux comprendre les consequences de l'occupation des lieux et:
a) en tenir compte pour d'autres projets.
b) aider les utilisateurs a mieux disposer des espaces.
de participer a la programmation des_mutations ou des espaces complementaires necessaires.
L'architecte assume la continuite du projet en tenant compte:
de l'environnement: passage d'un milieu rural (ou peri-urbain) 96 une trame urbaine
des remises en cause pedagogiques (phenomene permanent) des besoins et des conditions economiques du Maitre d'Ouvrage.
Les deux exemples proposes illustrent cette presentation qui confir-me la mission de l'Architecte dans sa qualite de membre permanent dune equipe avec laquelle it doit collabgrer etroitement meme dans le cadre de changement de partenaires et donc d'orientation.
L'un des Directeurs de l'Ecole Mohammedia d'Ingenieurs, M. 'Falb Bennani, aujourd'hui Recteur m'a fait un grand honneur en me qua-lifiant de 'pere de l'EMI' apres 30 ans de presence permanente.
Universite Mohammed V - Rabat
Ecole Mohammedia d'Ingenieurs
Objectif: former des ingenieurs-chercheurs de haut-niveau dans le cadre d'un etablissement a regime militaire (du modele de l'Ecole Polytechnique a Paris) repondant aux besoins specifiques du pays.
Effectifs: 1200 etudiants avec une forte participation feminine (30%) repartis en cinq departements et plus de 30 specialites.
des enseignants universitaires et des vacataires: 200 personnes
un staff militaire
Le programme initial du concours lance en 1959 fixait:
- a 200, le nombre des etudiants
et - a 8000 m2, la surface couverte (internat compris)
La rapide evolution du developpement et le besoin croissant d'inge-nieurs hautement qualifies tant pour l'Administration: preparation, gestion et contrOle, que pour l'Industrie: recherche, realisation, adaptation ont conduit l'EMI a des mutations importantes dans le cadre dune evolution continue dont je vais evoquer les phases essentielles.
des constantes: acces par concours
l'evolution pedagogique a conduit:
1. a transformer la formation d'Ingenieur d'application en Ingenieur-chercheur, ce qui a suppose de passer du cycle de 3 ans a celui de 5 ans mais, en maintenant deux annees d'enseignement general et technique (formation de base)
2. a realiser et a equiper un Centre de Calcul pour introduire et utiliser l'Informatique dans tous les departements (materiel de forte puissance) et dans un deuxieme temps a equiper tous les departe-ments avec un materiel type MICRO, raccorde au Centre.
3. a elargir les Departements traditionnels:
Genie – civil
Electricite - Electronique
Genie - mineral en introduisant:
Le Genie sanitaire (environnement)
et a diversifier les formations pour mieux repondre a une demande de plus en plus specifique.
4. a supprimer l'Enseignement General et Techniques (qui compre-nait les Sciences et la Technologie) par un concours national d'acces aux Grandes Ecoles (TAUPE S) realise a partir de formation acquise en dehors de l'EMI tout en maintenant son recrutement par con-cours.
5. a permettre a chaque Departement de disposer de tous les equi-pements necessaires et d'avoir acces au Centre de Calcul Informatique.
En trente ans, l'EMI est passee du statut d'une ecole d'ingenieur d'application a celui de Premier Centre de formation de Haute Technologie et de Recherche dont la mission s'elargit a la mise a disposition de moyens et de locaux pour chercheurs. Cette derniere implantation permettra d'assurer des liens permanents avec l'Industrie et les differents Centres de recherches internationaux.
Cette evolution permanente traduite en espaces a impose:
La suppression des ateliers et des laboratoires '1ourds' (grosses machines) que les nouvelles techniques de simulation rendaient inutiles.
La rehabilitation des salles des Enseignements General Technique et en particulier des salles de dessin inutilisees.
Le reamenagement des Departements pour permettre la multiplication des postes informatiques au sein de chaque cellule. L'independance des Departements disposant de bureaux, d'espaces de rencontre et d'espaces polyvalents.
Les plans et schemas ci-joints ne donnent qu'une image raccourcie des mutations intervenues.
Je precise que les besoins complementaires ont déjà ete programmes et qu'une cellule de reflexion analyse les inevitables mutations prochaines.
En 1994, l'EMI est devenue un centre culturel permanent en ouvrant sa salle polyvalente a des manifestations publiques: expositions, theatre, concerts, animation culturelle.
Une nouvelle dimension culturelle pour ce creuset scientifique.
Office Nationale de l'eau potable - Station de Traitement du Bouregreg - Rabat
Centre de Formation des Techniciens de l'eau
Considere par la Banque Mondiale comme l'espace indispensable de formation et de recyclage des connaissances, le programme du Centre a ete bouleverse par les nouveaux besoins et son objectif de formation professionnelle transforms en centre de reflexion et de recherche.
L'evolution initiale des besoins impliquait une tache essentielle au centre
Completer la formation des techniciens engages par l'Office
Assurer un controle des connaissances et orienter les individus
Diffuser les nouvelles techniques
Heberger une centaine de stagiaires
En 15 ans, le Centre a subit des mutations
La suppression de tous les cours magistraux, y compris le dessin et les enseignements scientifiques.
La rehabilitation des salles en espaces polyvalents et en locaux de gestion et d'orientation.
Le reamenagement de l'internat et des espaces d'accueil pour accueillir des invites de categories differentes et les seminaires internationaux.
La creation d'un centre documentaire ouvert:
aux stagiaires et
aux chercheurs de plus en plus nombreux (universitaires ou experts)
Ces modifications structurelles ont impose des seances de travail nombreuses et animees destinees a mieux cerner les besoins nouveaux:
planifier les extensions et les reamenagements pour permettre le fonctionnement permanent du Centre.
envisager les configurations prochaines et rendre les espaces polyvalents.
Montrant aussi la difficulte de programmer dans un domaine de formation tres specifique qui ne concerne pourtant qu'une production unique mais capitale, celle de l'eau.
Les plans ci-joints volontairement elargis aux autres equipements de la Station:
Centre de loisirs
Accueil et gestion de la station
permettent de confirmer le role fondamental de l'Architecte par sa participation permanente a la programmation, a la reflexion et a la protection des espaces les mieux adaptes aux besoins.
Le suivi et les interventions n'ont ete fructueux que par le climat chaleureux de l'Office et une participation. de tous les instants de la part de l'Architecte - voire meme des propositions avancees dans la mesure ou des decisions auraient pu etre prises sans une information complete.
Cette mission de 1'Architecte implique de sa part une connaissance des problemes reels et une volonte de participation.
Dans le domaine des espaces Oducatifs ou culturels, mais aussi dans d'autres domaines, l'Architecte devra s'impliquer scientifiquement et humainement pour demontrer ses capacites a collaborer a tous les niveaux et realiser des espaces repondant aux besoins et aux criteres d'environnement.
L' Architecture a aujourd'hui droit de la cite.
SUMANT H. WANDREKAR
Educational Spaces and Users
In India, the people have awakened to the sense of rights and are demanding education, along with higher standards of living and better civic amenities. Significantly we, in India, have recognised that education is the key to national objectives of social and political integration, increased productivity, cultivation of moral and spiritual values and a higher standard of living for all. Of course, the key to success depends upon the quality of education and the extent it is provided to masses in India. Education has been given the highest priority in India's national plans.
India is slowly coming out of mass illiteracy. State after state is proclaiming 100 per cent literacy. The central Government has recently increased the outlay on education to six per cent of the G.N.P. The states are meant to contribute one-thirds coming from the Centre. Whereas the Government takes the responsibility of educating the children above five years, the majority of children under five remain unattended. The rich can afford to send their children to private nurseries and kindergarten schools, millions of children living in villages and the slums have absolutely no access to pre-primary education.
Population of India is expected to rise by the turn of this century from 850 million to 960 million. Education remains the most urgent and most challenging task. Such magnitude and complexity requires radical measures. Large inputs of human efforts and ressources are necessary to build schools and colleges and equip them with educational aids.
The literacy campaign is being tackled through a medium best understood by the masses comprising of women and weaker sections. The voluntary agencies, who are more innovative and capable of culture-specific tasks than organisations of the Government are encouraged to build up an appropriate environment by performing folk music and dances, street plays, etc. to impress importance of education to illiterates. India is experiencing tremendous drive towards education for all through elementary, adult and non-formal education system. The infrastructure created for village administration is being utilised to educate women, the backward classes and neo-literates.
The destiny of India is now being shaped in its classrooms. It is the education that determines the level of prosperity, welfare and security of people. The quality of education is of crucial significance., It depends on the quality of physical environment in form of buildings and on the student-teacher-relationship. The quality will suffer if the functionally planned, well-lighted and ventilated and well-equipped academic building and other physical amenities are not made avail-able at educational institutions. The answer is good architecture, not necessarily expensive, to enhance the efficiency and well being of those who study. It should be suitable to urban, suburban and rural environment, built with from most modern technology to most commonly accepted vernacular techniques.
Though the Government is committed to open and run the primary and secondary schools, the scheme cannot take off due to non-availability of school buildings and the teachers, particularly in villages, which house the majority of the Indian population. Government funds are limited, and private enterprise cannot put adequate investment into education as it has no returns, particularly in basic education, especially in rural areas. The social organisations, however, are making efforts, though limited, to organise some activities to educate the children of poor families. They use public buildings and school premises during non-working hours and on holidays to conduct classes with the help of social workers and retired teachers. When enclosed space is not available, they even meet under a tree. Properly designed and built-up schools though needed are too few to take care of the large population.
The public funding of education has increased from 68% in1951-52 to 89.9% in 1989-90 due to the rapid expansion in the education system. In this period enrollment for elementary and secondary has increased from 22.8 million to 164.6 million. The provision for free education for all children up to class VIII and for girls up to class XII, has contributed to the increase in the government expenditure on education. To develop and maintain such a large education system, the expenditure has risen from Rs. 664.6 million in 1951-52 to Rs.2.390.89 million in 1993-94.
The architecture of ecucational buildings must become creative catalyst and encourage social, cultural and economic activities. It must perform various specialised disciplines. Architecture must generate positive response from the users and must provide opportunities for modification by them.
Building of Academy of Architecture, Bombay
Buildings which are expensive to build and maintain, need to be used for multipurpose activities at different times of the day and year. Maximum utilisation will yield more revenue and will strengthen the financial status of the organisation. The reduced rent based on time-shared basis will mean less expenses and reduced cost of operation for schools which rent the premises.
The schools also share the furniture and equipments and use the part-time services of the administrative staff. The institution operating their educational activities cannot expect the best in everything but do not suffer much in delivering good quality education. Sometimes it is an advantage for a smaller school to be with an established large institution as it can share so many rare and expensive equipments, good library, laboratories and workshops. This is how we use our building at the Rachana Sansad in Bombay.
The Academy of Architecture in Bombay is one institution, which was started to cater to the needs of young deserving men and women, who desperately wanted to study architecture. There was only one school with limited seats in Bombay in 1955. The aspiring students were mostly poor and could not afford the heavy expenses of education. They, therefore, had to work to earn their living. This situation led to running the Academy part time, either in the morning or evening leaving the day time free for students to work in architects' offices to earn and learn.
The founders had very strong desire to run the Academy, but did not have funds or resources. They, therefore, rented classrooms in a girls high-school building, just two - enough to conduct tuition classes. They then moved to other bigger premises with additional rooms, an office, a store and a school canteen.
Only after about 25 years of difficult survival and shifting from one school building to another, the Academy could move into its own premises. This was a mere temporary_ shed of 9000 Sq.Ft. (900 Sq.Mts.), converted by the students from an old silk mill which had ceased to operate. The open spaces and huge trees in the compound offered lot of opportunities to conduct many extra-curricular activities outside the classrooms, which were found quite healthy for overall development of the students. They, in fact enjoyed the natural environment and were always found in good mood and spirit. The non-designed spaces were preferred to ill-designed (as the temporary building was hardly designed) enclosed spaces, where studios, lecture halls and library were housed.
After almost 15 years, the old temporary shed was pulled down to make room for a new building, specially designed for conducting architecture and similar courses. The space was limited, construction cost heavy. The building is being built in stages due to limited funds. It is gradually raised floor after floor depending upon availability of finance, which comes through loans and donations.
The designers, who are also organisers and managers of the institutions, have taken care not to disturb the old existing trees. The contact with nature, which has prooved to be in great assets of fuller development of mind of young students, is retained while planning the new building. Through all studios, lecture halls, the library, one gets visually connected with outside nature. After the third floor, the terrace garden is being created to compensate loss of greenery which was available on lower floors. Lots of open spaces for student - teacher interaction and more casual contact with each other is the prime intention. Students prefer this kind of learning to bogged down exercises in classrooms and drawing studios. There is a distinct difference in attitude and more encouraging attendance at the classes, as well as better academic output by the students since they have moved into the new building. Now in the new building they are also provided with seminar & conference rooms, auditorium, art gallery, book & stationary shop, proper cafeteria, students common rooms etc. Better facilities and congenial atmosphere has proved to improve the student stock with better performance and more than anything else, a happier and friendly society.
The Rachana Sansad is a Charitable Education Trust. It runs
Academy of Architecture
School of Interior Design
School of Textile Design
School of Building Management
School of Applied Art
School of Photography
Ekistics and Research Department
Computer Education Department
All the above cited schools are run in the same premises. Not all of them run full-time classes. The drawing studios, lecture halls, workshops and labs are shared by the different schools at different times and on different days of the week. So the furniture premises as well are fully booked from 7.30 in the morning to 8.30 in the evening from Monday to Sunday for almost twelve months of the year.
When the schools are on vacation, special short-term and part-time courses are run for outsiders and the building is occupied. The building is also used at night for running adult education classes for millhands and workers, who have time only at night to go to school. The space is also used for small children to run nursery and kindergarten classes who are poor and cannot afford paid education.
In a crowded city like Bombay, where there are not enough school and college buildings and students aspiring for education are so many, the available spaces in the existing buildings have to be used to their maximun capacity and the fullest advantage needs to be taken, extra space or space lying idle during the day is like denying education to the poor and needy. We can call it as a criminal waste of space. In India we just can't afford it. In the national interest, multi-purpose use of any available space in any building has to be put to use for the benefit of the poor. It is true social work and we are proud that Rachana Sansad, our education trust, is trying its best to meet the demands of poor and deserving students. Fees too are low. Many scholarships and freeships are offered to promising students and so the others as well receive incentives and encouragement.
India is a .country which is moving very fast towards allround progress and 'has proved to be a strong and stable democratic country. After the independence it has achieved a prestigious position in world economy and has to its credit many industrial achievements. Through being so heavily populated and poor, its escalation to developments has never ceased in the past 48 years. It has been providing talent in many fields to the developing and developed countries for their progress. We are proud of our heritage, which has moulded us to be what we are today.
JOSE M.R. FREIERE DA SILVA
New Technological Spaces Survey and Programming
As architect working in a Department of Educational Facilities, in the Central Administration in Lisbon, it has been one of our jobs to prepare documents that will be the base program for the project, the building and remodeling of new or existent spaces for the technological areas that have been created within the secondary schools during the last decade, in Portugal.
I believe that this kind of work must-happen within an adequate model of doing the administration of the educational facilities, that must comprehend:
First: The survey of different schools with similar curricula, of the way the spaces and equipments are used and behave, and also the way the school manages the spaces. This includes the record of critics, suggestions, detected errors, damages due to use etc.
Second: Discussing with the users the way they use facilities, the conditions and restrictions they must face or suffer, or explaining once again what the projectists had in mind when they were designed and built, comparing with the real use the actual users give them.
This kind of survey and programming is possible when working in a close relationship with a central or regional level of administration of the school facilities that can give you an overall frame, and when there is a program for achieving a set of interventions in several schools, or parts of schools, aiming at its improvement, its extension, or even the construction of new schools.
This survey must also be done in a close relationship with the pedagogical coordination of the technological areas of teaching that it applies to.
In fact, this coordination may show us the best ways to achieve the pedagogical aims, according, very often, with what the spaces or the equipments may offer or allow.
Sometimes, if this coordination doesn't exist, we may, for instance, be designing complex and expensive spaces for installing computers and all the hardware that goes with it, when the pedagogical aims were only the initiation on how to use the computer, what the computer is, and what is the most useful software for the work pupils may face in the future.
The present study I've been carrying, and that I chose to bring to this symposium, for the relations established with the users, had some specific conditions at the beginning, according to recent changes in the structure of the secondary educational system in Portugal, concerning the technological areas of the schools, like:
The reduction in number of hours per week spent in the workshops, thus, doing less practical works, experiencing only;
The improvement of the theoretical dimensions of knowledge that the pupils must acquire, and that may support the technology they are learning;
As a corollary, we have now:
A lack of importance of the workshop itself;
A more important rule of spaces for theoretical teaching and learning, with audio-visual resources, documentation, exhibition of models, details, etc.
Aiming to find what are the modifications that we should introduce to the existing facilities, and what are the criteria for the designing of new facilities, we made a simple plan for our work:
1st Evaluation of existing spaces and analysis of the new curricula
2nd Draft of a preliminary program of spaces and equipment for the new facilities
3rd Discussion of how this preliminary program answers the questions and needs
4th Basic Program for the project and further interventions in schools
The first phase included the making of a list of schools for the survey, at a central and regional level.
Then, after achieving a final list, we did the successive visits to the schools, we saw the classrooms working, discussed with the teachers and observed the different ways the teachers were using the spaces and even the way they had modified them, according to their needs and beliefs, or, many times, according to the general needs of the whole school.
Also in this phase, we interviewed the members of the school boards and the pedagogical authors of the national curriculae.
The second phase was of individual work. The architect only with himself. Here we did our first options at a design level, about the dimensions of spaces, the units of space for this or that activity, the main needs for equipment and infrastructures, etc., producing a kind of information support that most of the users can read and understand, as the example in this presentation.
Here, we took account of the contributions we had and tried to answer the demands, critics and needs detected.
The third phase assumed a more formal way. We sent the draft program to the levels of coordination and of decision making, at school, at regional and central levels, we met again with the authors of the curricula, we discussed it with the equipment and furniture experts, and finally we received the agreements and the final suggestions and recomendations. We then went on with the final phase of the whole process, to prepare a definite document to send to schools and administration entities.
And, I must say, for conclusion of this short presentation, that it was, most of the times, with enthusiasm that the persons in schools received our visits, and colaborated with their opinions and critics.
Sometimes they even were proud, too, to show us how they improved the spaces, the changes they did, or-even the plans for the next year. And they also wanted our opinion about it.
And I think that it is, perhaps, a possible and a right way of a continuous process of mutual influence between architect and users that I'll try to use and improve in the work that I'm committed with.
YEHUD TECHNOLOGICAL CENTER, AS A CASE-STUDY FOR
by Jacob Hertz, Arch.
The Memorial for the Fallen of the Communications, Electronics and Computer Corps is an example of collaboration in the planning of educational and cultural facilities.
The site of the project is in a central location in the town of Yehud, some 15 kms. east of Tel-Aviv.
We were involved in this project from the beginning, in the preplanning stage, the design, the erection and finally, the use of the finished product.
Serious discussions took place prior to formulating the design brief.
A clear concept developed that this memorial should be a living commemoration for the Fallen and should be part of daily life.
So it was decided to include in the complex, in addition to the wing for commemoration of the Fallen Soldiers and the convention hall, a technological center for professional training and enrichment on the subjects of Communications, Electronics and Computers.
In the late design stage, a regional telephone exchange was included in the basement in the project, whereas the roof of this basement formed the surface of the central square, while the aerial of the exchange was shaped as a 30 m. high memorial pillar.
The Commemoration Wing and the Technological Wing form an ascending spiral around the convention hail. The Technological Wing contains laboratories for electronics and computers, study rooms and a library. The Memorial Wing includes two Memorial Halls in different shapes. The convention hall with 450 seats has not yet been built.
The Memorial pillar is central to the project and can be observed from all parts of the project.
The project has been in use fur six years and the technological wing is being used from early morning until late at night, providing courses for training and retraining of new immigrants, refresher and enrichment courses for the industry and army as well as regular courses for the local high-school students.
The income from these activities covers the upkeep of the project.
The project is well-known throughout the country as an example of excellence in its field.
The statement published by the Association for Commemoration of the Fallen of the Communications, Electronics and computers Corps on Memorial Day expresses their feelings towards the project: "The uniqueness of the memorial is that it is a daily living commemoration to those whose names are perpetuated here who were involved in the fields of Communications, Electronics and Computers.
Some Aspects of the Cooperation Process between Designers and Educators
The profound changes which took place in the Western society after the Second World War, of necessity brought about changes in educational viewpoints and teaching methods. In the wake of these came a revolution in perceptions of the architectonic structure of schools. In that same period, democratization of the decision-making process made the establishment aware of the need for public involvment in the erection of public institutions in general and schools in particular. In respect of school-planning, "the public" is defined as educators, teachers, school principals and educational administrators.
Inclusion. of educational personnel in planning is part of a broader subject treating their participation in the decision-making process. This issue arose after the end of the Second World War, following demands for greater democratiziation in all walks of life.
It is not my intention to discuss the broader aspects of the subject, but there are a number of points which were examined and which are relevant to our subject - that is, the physical planning of a school, with the participation of the educators.
Participation of educational personnel in planning school buildings is only part of the overall objective of including them in the decision-making process. The other goals are:
a. Planning a building to the satisfaction of its users.
b. Educating the participating public to make use of the resources at its disposal.
c. Initiating introduction of innovation in educational methods.
d. Introducing new technology.
Achievment of these goals is expressed in the quality of the school building, improvement in the teachers' functioning in learning spaces and improvement too, in development of new educational outlooks (Davis, 1975; Rhode, 1976; Gold & Miles, 1981),In light of the numerous research studies made regarding inclusion of educators in the decision-making process, there are two central questions which should be asked:
1. Are educators interested in participating in the physical planning process?
A multi-dimensional approach adopted by Mohrmann (1978) points to the fact that success in including educators in the decision-making process depends on the areas in which they are collaborating. It transpires that teachers are interested in participating in decision-making administrative fields, but not in the technical aspects, such as structures, equipping of buildings, etc.
2. What contribution do educators make when included in the planning process?
a) Rhode, in one of her studies, found that not only was inclusion of the educators the main factor in improving the quality of the structure, but it also led to training and guidance as to more effective utilization of the areas, as well as increased creativity in utilization of the teaching spaces and development of new educational models.
b) Educators' participation in decision-making also increases the principal's striving for professionalism and reinforced the teacher's feeling of autonomy - He/she makes decisions on subjects affecting the school as a whole and not only those applying to him/her personally (Fantini and Gittell, 1973; Inkpen, 1975).
Inclusion of the educators in planning of the school raises many questions, such as:
A. Who actually does participate?
B. What areas of responsibility, in the planning, are covered by educators?
C. What contributions are expected from the process?
D. What are the problems arising from such participation?
The body defined as "educational personnel" is, in fact a rather heterogeneous population, having formal training in Education and fulfilling a variety of functions in the educational system. They have teaching, administrative and organizational roles and also work in Academe (Castaldi, 1969; Davis, 1975; Rhode 1976).
There are a number of definitions of "educational personnel" suitable for participating in planning:
1. Educational Expert: Oddie (1968), in a theory developed by him on participation, defined an educator as a member of a school-planning team, conversant with the broad educational strategies and goals, who is also familiar with day-to-day problems of education and the usual means of solving them.
2. Pioneer Educators in Educational Philosophy and Teaching Methods: Pearson, in a research work (1975) claims that the characteristics of an "Educational Expert" are not sufficient. In his opinion, experts are needed, who are the forefront of the movement toward development of new educational models.
3. Representatives of Teachers' Organizations: These organizations claim that only delegates authorized by them can take part in the process, saying that it is unthinkable that a group of people organized on an ad-hoc basis should be charged with the future of a school. It is clear, in any event, that in most countries, the educational authorities reserve for themselves the prerogative of determining the makeup of planning group and the limits of its jurisdiction
(Meed, 1976; Barth, 1967; Rhode, 1976).
B. Areas of Responsibility
The areas for which the educational authorities are responsible in the planning process are tied to the various stages and the type of involvment decided by them. In the literature, three types of model responsibility can be identified, relating to taking part in planning with the difference between them being the stage upon which they are at the time focused.
The first type can be summed up as an opinion, given by education personnel, regarding the architectonic plan in the final stage. Here, the educators are requested by the educational authorities to express their opinions and reservations as to the architectonic planning. This method imposes difficulties for the educators, because they are strangers to the language of graphics and have difficulty imagining what the structure and its spaces will look like The method also arises feelings of frustration because the educators are not able to significantly influence the planning or construction process (Rhode, 1976; Brunetti, 1971; Castaldi, 1977).
The second type is expressed in a dialogue between teachers and planners. This will take place at an early stage, before the commencement of planning, at which point, the educators can define their physical needs arising from the educational process. The document sumnmarizing this dialogue is the educational specification (Castaldi, 1977, Summer, 1972).
The third type is manifested by involvment of educational personnel in the entire process, and includes instruction of the school staff in operation of the building as well as extracting lessons for the future from the process and the planning (Brunetti, 1971; Davis, 1957; Gold & Miles, 1981).
C. Contributions by Educators When Included in the Planning Process
According to an analysis of the writing of leading thinkers in the physical planning field, inclusion of educational personnel in the planning process, can lead to great expectations in three main fields:
1. Improved conditions in the building.
2. Improved function in the teacher.
3. Introduction of innovations to the educational process.
In the first field - improvement in the quality of the building - this is expressed in the three stages of the construction process:
The first is crystallization of the educational specification, which defines the requirements arising from the identity of the school, educational trends and new technologies. The second accompanying the planning, so as to ensure correct translation of the requirements to the physical structure. The third stage, guiding the school staff in the proper use of the structure (Mc Clure, 1984; Gold & Miles, 1981; Davis, 1975; Brunetti, 1971).
In the second field, the teacher learns to make maximum use of the resources at his/her disposal: spaces, installations, furnishing and equipment. In addition, inclusion in the planning process increases the teachers' awareness of the importance of the physical environment as an educational medium. Inclusion of the educators in the planning process ensures a high degree of their environment in the proper running of the building and their concern for aesthetics and good maintenance (Davis, 1975, Holt, 1974; Walenberg, 1972).
The third field - introduction of modifications- is within the jurisdiction of the educational authorities, who determine the degree of innovation desired when making a decision as to the type of collaboration, the character of the participants and the areas in which the authorities empower the educators to make decisions. The power to determine "The frontiers of Education" lies in the hands *of the educational authorities (Gump, 1984; Rhode 1976; Pearson, 1975).
D. The Problematics of Educator Participation in the Planning of a School
There are a number of weak points in the concept of including educators in the decision-making process, such as: the need to train them for taking part in the process and the cost, in time, required for such training.
Some of the problems are on a personal plan: the psychological cost to a teacher, expressed in internal tension brought on by incursion into new areas, called administrative. These subjects are supported in research studies by Alluto and Bellasco (1972) and Fantini and Gittell (1973).
In the opinion of environmental psychologist Sommer (1972) one of the problems of having educators take part in physical panning is the latter's inability to define the characteristics of the educational process. He therefore expresses a lack of confidence in the competence of educators to participate in the school-planning process. Once, he supported an idea of setting up companies specializing in such programs. Clients and prospective users of the buildings would be interviewed, so as to arrive at a clear definition of what they required. Then, on this basis, the architect could proceed with sketwas unable to clearly define his activities, and so he rejected the ches and planning. However, he eventually concluded that the user 1 1 1 idea, believing that the most relevant information could be gleaned U IA from the evaluation of existing projects. Sommer recommends observation by experts who will define the needs and instruct the planner. He is opposed in this by researchers Fantini and Gittell (1973) because his method would make the educator a passive agent in all matters touching the design of the learning environment. They are also joined by other thinkers in the field (Pearson, 1975; Lindsay, 1975).
A second problem, according to Rhode (1976) and Lindsay (1975), is a lack of training of educators to understand the planner's graphic language. They have difficulty interpreting the architectural plans and cannot imagine for themselves the planned building as it would appear when finished.
Pearson (1975) called the third problem, "Additive attitude to space". It is expressed in the educator's demand for additional space for every new activity. Another problem is strong curtailment of the building's flexibility. The educational authorities will have difficulty in adapting for other uses and methods, a school erected according to a specific educational model and the use of which was crystallized by the school staff.
A fourth problem, the gap between declarations by educational personnel on the one hand, and what is in practice on the other. Paricipation in the planning process inclines the educator toward innovation in education, but it often happens that, when the educational innovation is actually being put into practice, the original ideas seem, somehow, to lose stature and real change in the educational process becomes marginal.
To illustrate some of the issues discussed above, I shall present here, briefly, a review of two schools, planned and built with the cooperation of their "users".
The First case is that of a new location for a comprehensive school in Eilat. A number of workshops were organized with groups of students, parents and teachers.
The budget was a standard one, and we were well aware that it would be impossible to respond to every one of the wishes expre-sed by the "users". After very careful analysis of the input received from them, we put forward some alternative programmes, incorporating the users' wishes and needs, for consideration by the steering committee. From there, both, the -final programme and the preliminary draft plan of the building were brought before a forum consisting of students, parents and teachers, and on the basis of feedback received from them, changes were introduced into the drafts.
Principal items in the program were:
1. Indoor spaces for recess periods and social activities (aircondition - ambient temperatures in Eilat in June 35° - 42° C).
2. An aesthetic building, including an atmosphere of tranquility and calm.
3. Corridors, once a source of noise, crowding and violence, are now eliminated.
4. Subject centers (mathematics, foreign languages etc.) are created, richly supplied with materials, and flexible enough to allow for different study curricula.
5. Areas are allotted for indoor sports (the harsh climate makes outdoor sports difficult).
6. Creation of spaces enabling certain age groups to be identified with the building.
7. Additional (to the standard program) spaces for teachers (for individual work, group efforts, meetings etc.).
The school has been functioning for two years now, so we are able to gain a good impression of any problems which have arisen. We also made a small study to evaluate "user" satisfaction.
Students: Not all their wishes were fulfilled - the sport facilities have not yet been constructed. They are, however, very happy with the system of object centers, with the special room for materials and the possibility of both group - and individual learning. The spaces between the classrooms are "theirs", and they take care of them and use them during recess periods and for many social activities.
Parents: The parents are pleased with the building's aesthetics and the high standard of materials used. Dispersal of the students into different areas is appreciated. It averts large concentrations of younger pupils who are the noisiest, and helps to avoid violence and bad habits.
Teachers: They are content with the building, but have problems with the new organization of learning - the subject centers. They now have more responsibility toward the students. Not only they must teach them, but now, they also have to prepare the learning environment and equip it with materials appropriate to the different student levels. What is more, they are now called upon to change their teaching modes from frontal to individual and small-group teaching. They say, they now require more rooms (the additive syndrome - the third problem described above). They find it very difficult to use a facility in a multi-purpose way.
The findings also illustrate what was defined above as the fourth problem; the gap between the declarations made by the educators and what happens in actual practice.
The Second Case is that of a regional comprehensive school for students in the 13 to 18 year age-category, combined with community facilities.
The forum set up to determine the educational methods to be used and the philosophy behind them, was made up of the school's principal (chosen two years before the school was to open), the regional supervisor in the Ministry of Education, the person holding the Educational portfolio in the Municipality, and parents.
The school opened only four days ago, on September first, so we are not yet able to make an evaluation of the building. But what we did learn from the planning and the construction process, was that cooperation with the educational team for construction of a new school presents a basic problem - the gap between declarations and what happens in actual practice.
Here are some details of the school: There are twelve classgroups of eighty pupils each. For each group, there is a cluster of four spaces of different sizes. There are three teachers for each classgroup (in Israel the standard is forty students per teacher). The net area of each cluster is 200 square meters (the standard in Israel is 106 square meters). The other facilities are : a Science and Technology center, a center for the Arts, a resource center and the administrative area.
The program and planning were a very accurate translations of the declared educational philisophy and methods of learning. The principal and a selected group of teachers were involved in all the planning phases.
As construction progressed, they began to realize what kind of spaces they would be getting, whereupon their educational conception underwent a change. Then and there, they issued new instructions, hoping to revert to the kind of classrooms they were familiar with. This development illustrates the second and forth problems: first, the diffficulty that many teachers may have in understanding the graphic language of architectural plans and translating in their imagination, the draughtsman's lines on the engineering drawing into an image of the building as it will look on completion. Secondly, we have been shown the distance that exists between educational declarations and actual practice, where introduction of change into the norms of a teacher's behaviour is a difficult process.
I would like, however, to conclude this talk on an optimistic note and present to you a very short resume of a research study which we carried out in 1989 on the subject: The Contribution Made by Participation of Educational Personnel in the Physical Planning of a School Towards the Improvement of the Quality of its Design.
The study covered eighteen primary schools constructed in Israel between 1979 and 1985. Nine were designed with the cooperation with educators and nine without.
The question asked in this study was: Does cooperation with Educators in the planning process contribute to the quality of a school building?
Parameters examined were: adaption of the school building to pedagogic methods: building flexibility to accomodate activities not planned for the original physical design; response in planning, to individual needs of teachers and students.
The study revealed a clear difference between the two groups of schools in all parameters testing the quality of the building. The schools planned with the cooperation of educators were better suited to pedagogic requirements, more flexible and adaptable to new educational demands, and responded better to the individual's needs.
The buildings were evaluated according to two types of criteria: subjective - teacher's satisfaction - and objective - evaluation by the architects and use of a check-list of special items.
To conclude, as I said before, I am totally for it. But architects must be aware of the problems to be able to improve the cooperation process
Alutto. J.A. and Belasco. S.A. (1972). A Typology for Participation in Organizational Decision-Making. Administrative Science Quartely, Vol.17, No.1, march, 117-125
Barth, R.S. (1967). Open Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory. New York: Agathon Press.
Brunetti, F.A. (1971). Open Space: a Status Report. A publication of the School Environment Study, a project supported by funds from
Castaldi, B. (1977). Educational Facilities: Planning, remodeling and Management..Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Davis, R.F. (1975). The development of Elementary School Educational Specifications and Peliminary Buildings Plans Through the Use of Citizen and Staff Involvement. Washington D.C.
Fantini, M. and Gittell, M. (1973). Decentralization: Achieving Reform. New York: Praeger Publishers.
Gold, B.A. and Miles, M.B. (1981). Whose school is it, anyway? New York: Praeger Publishers.
Gump, P.V. (1974). Operating Environments in Schools of Open and Traditional Design. School Review; Vol.82, No. 4, 575-593.
Holt, J. (1974). Children are Sensitive to Space. School review, Vol.82, No.4, 667-670.
Lindsay, N. (1975). Institutional Arrangments for School Buildings. Paris: Organisation for the Co-operation and Development.
McClure, R. (1984). Educational Development Aspects of Public
Police and School Building. London; Longman Group Lim.
Meed, D. (1976). Designing Building as a Resource. Paper given at a Summer School for teachers, Ecton Hall, College of Ed. Retford, Nottinghamshire.
Mohram, A.M., Cooke, R.A., Mohram, S.A. (1978). Participation in decision making: A Multidimensional Perspective. Educational Administration Quartely, Vol. 14, No.1 (Winter) (13-29).
Inkpen, W.E., Ponder, A.A., Crocker, R.K. (1975). Elementary Teacher Participation in Newfoundland. The Canadian Administrator, Vol XIV, No.4, January (1-5).
* Pearson, E. (1972). Trends in School Desing. primary School Today. Vol.2. Primary School Project Ford Fundation. London: Macmillan
Pearson, E. (1975). Trends on School Design. London: Macmillan. * Rhode, B. (1976). Teachers and School Building. Paris: Organisation for Co-oparation and development.
Politi, (1989). The Contribution Made by Participation of
Educational Personnel in the Physical Planning of Schools. (Dissertation - Degree Master of Arts). School of Education Bar-Ilan University, Israel. ,
Sommer, R. (1972). Design Awareness. New York: Rinhart Press.
Walenberg, H.J. and Thomas, S.C. (1972). Open Education : an Operational Definition and Validation in Great Britain and United States. American Educational Research Journal, 9, No.2, 197-207
Collaboration of Designers and Users in the Designing of Schools in Poland
Designers and Users
In Poland the schools are built and financed partly by central state budget and partly by local municipal funds.
The reforms in municipal councils changing their structure which took place in 1990ies - contributed to intensification of school building mostly in local communities. Particularly at the rural districts, development of school building committees can be observed, in effect several hundreds of new school buildings are expected in near future. Besides, new regulations in force make possible foundation of so-called non-public (partly subsidized) or quite private schools.
The functioning and operation program for state schools, mainly in its didactic part, is based on corresponding instructions issued in the 1980ies by the Ministry of Education.
The functioning and operation programs for so-called non-public
and private schools are created individually and depend on systems of pedagogical work accepted by them. These schools are free to establish any chosen number of classes and forms of didactic process.
In state schools as well as in non-public or private schools, the area of premises intended for non-didactic use such as recreation, meals cooking and serving, sports, communal use etc., are designed individually, as they are in many cases sponsored by their prospective additional users.
Proper collaboration between the designer and prospetive user is necessary at the preliminary stage, when the school operating program is worked out.
In case of designing the non-public (or so-called: social) schools, such collaboration is considered as leading principle, so that the designer together with a group of people from school managme_nt and teachers could determine the shapes, sizes and number of rooms for didactic use, on the basis of didactic plan assumed for a given school. The same designer and group of people are to come to the agreement as to the other elements of minor importance.
Such a school operating program should be worked out by means of many suggestions brought in by particular members taking part in the meeting. In these circumstances presence of the designer is even more important, because the ideas of "optimal area" or "minimum surface" are very difficult to imagine to the person who has nothing to do with school designing work.
In case of designing the schools to be managed by the Ministry of Education or its subordinated units (School Inspector's Offices), the situation is quite different. Then, the optimal solution is that the suggestions as to school operating program are made up by the local municipal council and put in by the representatives of local community, who know best specific requirements, advantages and faults of given localization.
That kind of school operating program should be accepted by the local School Inspector's Office authorized for that purpose. The school operating program worked out in the above manner, is "made to measure" for a given community who can decide about many things such as, for example, kind and number of meals to be prepared, or size and shape of cooking and meal serving premises; such a 'made to measure' programme may provide wide range of other different functions such as library, reading rooms, halls for meetings and social events, and others, as required.
Sometimes the school operating proramme is worked out directly by School Inspector's Office and the specific needs of local youth and community are not taken into consideration. In result, some changes are necessary at the designing stage or even while building
work so that the additional financial charges are unavoidable.
Actually, nearly all school designs are the subject to competition of tenders announced by local Councils in the cities as well as in the rural districts.
In this situation the investors can get acquainted with wide range of different design solutions what (as can be expected) would improve their knowledge and raise the level of school architecture.
However, the school designs involved by such competitions are usually submitted to further modifications because of supplemented or changed, technical parameters of electric power supply, heating agents (oil, gas) etc.
So, the design is thoroughly discussed with the prospective users, very often additional alternative layouts of the plots, parkings etc. are prepared.
Then, it is still a bit of time to discuss some elements of the program at that stage.
One of the items which are usually the subjects to further discussion is size of sports zone; according to the regulations issued by the Ministry of Education, part of financial contribution into building the school sports halls granted by the Ministry, should be relative to the size of a given school and number of pupils or students to take physical exercise there.
Local municipal Council may build larger than standard sports hall for their school (for instance 24 x 45 meters) but all the additional costs have to be covered by local authorities.
The other problem to be disussed additionally is the range of cooking and serving meals for school attending children and youth. After the long period of building the large cooking premises for preparing hot dishes on the spot, now the trend for limited scope of school canteens is observed and their different structure (subordinate kitchen, supply of ready-made meals, school buffet etc.).
General conception of architectural design including its parts reffe-red to construction, pipelines and systems as well as approximate estimate of costs should be accepted by investors - who in turn apply to local authorities responsible for local urban planning and architecture to issue suitable decision, admitting erection of that school buildings at that site.
The above decision is considered as a basis for preparing the technical building design and receiving permission to start building works.
During execution of technical building design, the designers are still in constant touch with prospective users represented by School Building Committee ( the Headmaster of future school is usually one of the members of that Committee).
At this stage, the architect-designer should be in constant touch with the prospective users of the school in order to determine the standard of finishing works, floor linings, tiles, door and window framings as well as special facilities for laboratories and work rooms for particular subjects. Similar talks should be held by designers responsible for water supply and sewage disposal systems and for electric power supply.
Because of the very wide range of materials for finishing and interior decoration works offered by the suppliers to the investors, these materials should be selected very carefully and additionally accepted by the designers, as not all the investors have technical education and skills.
On the basis of technical building design, the cost estimates are calculated which are then handed over to the companies taking part in the competition of tenders to find sub-contractors.
Collaboration with the prospective user during the building process. Supervision
Author's supervision should be considered as one of the forms of supervision at building site. Strictly technical supervision is rendered by Chief Engineer at building site, the supervision on behalf of investor - by inspectors responsible for particular branches such as: construction works, installation of pipelines and systems etc.
As to author's supervision, it is mainly referred to check conformity of building works with the accepted design and to acceptation of changes (if any) suggested by sub-contractors
New building law in force since 1995 says that the designer is entitled to enter the building site any time and is authorized to make entries in its log-book or even to stop the building works, if he states that they are not in compliance with the accepted design. The designer cannot evade rendering the author's supervision, if the investor charges him with this duty. It happens sometimes that the sub-contractor would like to introduce some alternative technical solutions or to use alternative materials during the course of the building works. This is a very delicate matter and the designer should present all the arguments possible to the prospective user,
The schools are usually built stage by stage, as the municipal councils have only limited funds for that purpose. However, the school buildings can be built in this way, provided that their building stages are in accordance with their particular functions (e.g. didactic premises for young children, didactic premises for teenagers, canteen and social, sport annex etc.).
The "stage by stage" school building method may be very useful only in the case that the design has been prepared so that location of particular functions in particular separate school zones is considered as the main design principle.
Very good results are usually achieved by means of strict collaboration of school designer with the Headmaster of the new school.
Such collaboration makes possible to avoid purchase of improper unnecessary equipment; all that equipment is usually included in special design prepared for each school building seperately. However, it.is necessary to say here that the investors are bothered by numerous new companies and encouraged to buy some new materials and products which were not verified in practice, at very attractive low prices.
It occurs sometimes that the teachers and youngsters work in some part of the school building only which has been already built as the first stage of a larger object. In this case the school Headmaster additionally renders the function of supervisor and collaborates with designers during the next stages of school building works.
The collaboration of school Headmaster with designer should last further on in practical exploitation of the school building, particularly during the guarantee period, to enable enforcing reparation of claims or clearing up faults brought by sub-contractors, if required.
The designer should occasionally visit the school building even after the guarantee period, to see how it works and (among the others) to prevent uncontrolled, undesirable changes in the use of particular premises.
Strict collaboration between designer-architect and prospective users of the school is essential and should begin at the early stage when the school operating program is worked out. The schools in residential districts and particularly in rural areas may play a very important part to build up local culture-and to improve social life of inhabitants.
The operating program for school in residential district, where school is to take up numerous functions necessary for local commuity should include some compartments for social and cultural use, apart from those intended for didactics i.e. teaching and learning. In order to prepare such a program, strict collaboration of architect on one side, with representatives of local municipal authorities, with these responsible for education and with management of school on the other side, is necessary.
Such a collaboration should help the future user of the school represented by School Building Committee to recognize their needs while preparing school operating program which in turn will be transferred by architect into the language of technical data and particular built up areas.
Proper collaboration with School Building Committee while elaboration of school design should consist in encouraging the user to adapt the design solutions which ensure optimal conditions for the students or pupils as well as for teachers, which result in proper, convenient localization of particular functional systems and character of school open to local community. Above all, some separation of different school age groups should be observed, the whole area to be built up should be devided into separate zones corresponding to particular functions attached to them, communication paths should be provided as well as some premises for special use e.g. recreation or sports may be designed in form of annexes; the cloakrooms may be provided for each class seperately and for each age group as well. Apart from the above, the architect should make the user aware that possibly high standards of internal finish and decoration works as well as high quality architecture are of outstanding importance for improving good taste and culture in students as well as in local community.
Partnership of designer in school building process is considered as very important; according to Polish building law it has a form of architect's supervision. In some cases the architect-designer is entitled to order stopping the building works because of their discrepancy with the accepted design.
As per our opinion the architect's supervision should be extended for the whole period of exploitation of the school and all the changes, and developments of building structures should have to be agreed with the designer.
Cooperation of Designer and User
In the press conference of the UIA of our congress a journalist who was interested in our subject 'Cooperation of Designer and User' asked: "Why aren't the walls in our schools built with a material that can be kept in good order by the Users themselves?" He said that our lectures and the examination of our subject were too abstract, too far away from the understanding of the User!
But is it possible to deal with this subject in an international context without getting too abstract and without generalizing too much? I think that this subject can only be dealt with in a concrete way if local matters are concerned. In order not to remain at a purely theoretical level, shouldn't we architects ask oureselves the question what7the misunderstanding between the designer and the user, concerning the dialogue as well as blunder at the tectonic realization consists of? In many of the specific studies presented at this congress, a tempting optimism and the conviction of knowing what is wrong or right predominated! I'm rather worried by this unequivocal way of dealing with this difficult subject, and, as I have shown above, journalists feel the same way!
The discussion about 'Participation' had its climax in the seventies, thus 30 years ago. I don't know the situation of other countries, but, frankly speaking, today, in Austria this subject only serves to establish an alibi.
The architect uses up two thirds of all his energy for the struggle with public authorities and not with the user. The result is in most cases increasing the costs and obstructive as to the functionality and the quality. At the moment this is the frustrating reality for many architects of whom the users have the right to expect more understanding and attention!
What could the misunderstanding between architect and user that can often be observed, consist of? There are many reasons for which not only the architect is responsible. Among other things there is the lack of information which can be generally understood and which directly concerns the subject, the lack of frankness and willingness for dialogue, the lack of understanding of the different topics and the lack of experience concerning the intercourse of the interlocuters.
Some ideas concerning the part of the designer:
If users only see in the architect the 'specialist who is a recipient of orders' or the 'designer who erects a monument for himself' the desired dialogue cannot be achieved. This estimation sureley differs according to the specific cultural situation. In scandinavic countries for example everybody is allowed to design and therefore can be user and architect.
The different intentions concerning formation and education of different countries and schools (universities, academies and technical colleges) don't make the definition of the.part of the designer easier. And the definition of the user? Today, in most cases, he is not known physically and not identical with the customer.
But how can we conceive the part of the user?
The user: He is looking for a specialist (architect, building contractor or craftsman) for the realisation of constructional work which of course should be done according fo his ideas.The user himself is nothing but the investor nowadays. This is the most frequent case. In former times this was different. He was prepared for his part and his task and he was educated accordingly. He acknowledged the specialist as being one and respected his part in the dialogue.
The artist on the other hand is looking, although this is rare, but because it is his silent wish, for someone who is willing to construct, in order to realize a building, now according to his ideas, in order to realize the building conforming to tectonic rules. An example: The story 'The poor rich man' by Adolf Loos. Public buildings are in most cases ordered through contests and the majority of the jury are architects! The only reason for this is that users are culturally not capable to take their part.
And now both, user and architect: The result usually are two ideas of on task! Those ideas are influenced by education, experience, profession and culture. This is where dialogue would be reasonable. But the condition is that both respect and wish to understand the problems of the other and and don't see themselves as winner or looser in the end. In a lot of cases we can see that especially architecturally interesting examples which are highly approved in journals meet with rejection and harsh critics of the user - user and winner? In most cases there are only two who think that the building turned out well: the architect and the one who ordered the building. The latter cannot admit that it was a false decision and the former cannot admit that it is blunder.
But since we can suppose that the conflict between architect and user is not provoked intentionally, it might be useful to clearly define the possibilities for the architect, the 'tectonic means' that are useful for the user.
If we further think about how often the user himself changes his ideas and needs during the planning stage already, or how those can be forced to be changed by other circumstances, it becomes even more evident how helpful a clearing up of the 'tectonic means' can be.
Which possibilities does the designer have to think about?
1. The professional intercourse: a certainly not tectonic, but often applied and laborious way of explaining to each other the professional competence and the task. For example the question what task, architecture, building, community, culture, function, construction and economy is! And which rules have to be thought about during the construction and concerning the maintenance of a building. This is wearisome for both sides and out of reasons of missing time usually can only be done superficially.
Building oneself: 'Low-Tech-Architecture' is today a popular offer for occupation and planning for designer and user. The increasing number of stores for building materials, of semi-finished objects, of prefabricated houses, etc. show, how often this direct, active method is seen to be an alternative. My request in a lecture in Stockholm 'Take your own chair to the school', would be another alternative. The basic idea of this procedure is to achieve satisfaction of the user through his own initiative.
Elimination of elements of buildings: usually it is walls, parts of the front, furniture that can lead to an 'active flexibility' concerning buildings. With the help of this the potential conflict between architect and user is supposed to be weakened. But often the customers are not willing to use this 'flexibility', and even less to effect this 'financial expense for the future' today already.
The open sketch: this is another possibility of the 'free utilization'. It demands achieving this without rebuilding. The 'sketch that is neutral concerning utilization' is typologically related with this offer.
The open structure: In fact this is an open sketch, but in the dimensions of town planning. "A house is a town, a town is a house." Flexibility is achieved through mobility. Offering more space and volume than necessary leads to a kind of 'spatial flexibility'. This traditional possibility is more and more displaced today because of the reduction of space out of economical reasons.
High-Tech-Architecture: In fact this is a passive, but modern offer which seems to be suitable for the user but which can make him very dependent. Seen in a worlwide context, this is only a limited possibility of procedure, because of the financial aspects. There are also cultural and economical differences which limit its applicability.
Participational planning process: like-the 'professional intercourse' mentioned in 1. this is understood to be a 'public planning process'. In addition to architect, user and customer, there is the politician. The consequence? The user is seen in his part as voter and the architect as the interpreter of political desires. According to the functional task, this method leads away from the cultural task of the architect.
Let's summarize: A positive dialogue between architect and user is desirable. But before this, the user has to understand the part of the architect and his tectonic possibilities.
This is why we should talk more about the tectonic quality of space and buildings. Only if it is outlined in,an all-embracing architectural way, it can fulfil the 'physical and psychological' needs. We have to ask ourselves how we can explain the architectonic, cultural and not only technical craft of our profession to the user in order to satisfy his needs. If we can achieve this, we have also improved the dialogue between 'architect and user'.
JOHN CASTELLANA with
BILL AINSWORTH DICK MOOIJ and YANNIS MICHAIL
Collaboration between Architects and Users is an important aspect of design for educational and cultural facilities. During this meeting, various International presenters shared experiences and procedures related to this collaboration.
It is apparent that differing forms of collaboration exist in relation to differing political environments. It should be the role of the UIA Working Committee to develop guidelines for meaningful and successful Architect/User team work in the design of educational and cultural facilities to be applied to all International situations and especially in developing countries, where the collaboration can become a vehicle for social and economic development.
Several major questions resulted from the presentations and individual dialogue. Following are these topics with preliminary responses to the questions concerning primarily educational spaces:
Is collaboration between Architects and Users essential to achieve a successful school?
Although not essential, it was agreed that being able to design to meet specific curriculum and functional goals will result in a facility that will be more widely accepted by the users. Having the users become an integral part of the process is certainly the preferred method.
What characteristics of an architect's training make him or her a valuable contributor to collaborative design?
By training, an. Architect is able to communicate graphic ideas to support written philosophical concepts. Working closely with Users, an Architect can immediately translate abstract teaching methods into tangible architectural solutions. This ability allows Users to better understand the result of their theories in 'real' facility terms.
Also, an Architect is trained to be a good listener and facilitator. These skills, together with graphic communication techniques, will positively contribute to successfull collaboration endeavors.
Can Users/Educators verbalize their needs adequately?
Typically, it is difficult for educators to verbalize ideas that will directly influence the design. The Architect must facilitate collaboration sessions and probe, both with questions and concept drawings, to adequately understand the actual needs. Again, the Architect is uniquely qualified to be a positive contributor and leader of these 'Vision Planning' sessions.
Should site visits to existing school facilities be encouraged for the entire team?
An Architect has an obligation to help educators 'open up' their visions in regard to teaching methods. Many users are comfortable in their own situation and have no global visions beyond their local environment. Visiting similar and radically different schools helps the team to share other experiences and perhaps stimulate meaningful conversation. The initial planning process is extremely important and must be taken seriously. All possible ideas have to be considered to assure that the 'correct' solution has been found.
Who should be included on the User side of the team?
Students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community leaders should all be included. It is important to have a broad cross-section of the community represented so that there are `no surprises' then the school is ready to be occupied.
What should be the responsibilities of each party? Who has the final authority?
It would be useful for the UIA Working Group to develop a matrix of responsibilities showing primary and secondary roles. Obviously, items dealing with curriculum delivery need to stay in the domain of the educator.
It is the Architect's responsibility to respond to these delivery methods with spaces and concepts to help facilitate their implementation. Aesthetic considerations need to be discussed openly with both parties to assure a positive image that is appropriate to the contextual situation.
How do you involve students in the actual design process?
The input of student ideas is an important aspect of meaningful collaborative design. Listening to their hopes, dreams and social needs can result in facilities truly designed for them! Younger children can sometimes participate in design charettes with the Architect to explore, through drawings and models, 'image' characteristics desired for their school environment. Further on, children may be asked to create an original piece of art (ceramic wall tile, painting, etc.) that can become a permanent part of the architecture. Giving students the opportunity to create something personal gives them a greater sense of ownership and respect. Architects need to suggest ideas to educators on how best to solicit ideas from the real users, the students!
How can Architects help motivate Users to get involved in a meaningful way?
In the past, many schools were designed without much user consultation. Because of this past trend, many educators have felt powerless to contribute. Also, some Architects take great pride in arriving on a project with many pre-conceived ideas already established and 'pretend' to listen to users needs. After this shallow planning effort, the Architect reverts back to the pre-conceived ideas and 'forces' them upon the User. We must stop this from occurring!
Fortunately, the UIA Working Group is dedicated to be meaningful, open and honest planning processes. By showing the users that architects are caring and good listeners that want to respond to the real needs, we will gain back the confidence of all educators. Their ideas are important!
Collaborations between Architects and Users is an essential step in the planning process.
The service of an Architect working directly with User groups is vital to achieving architectural excellence.
Because the 'User' of today may indeed be different than 'Users' of tomorrow, solutions must be flexible to adapt to various teaching methods.
In order to give direction to the required flexibility, it is desirable that both the User and the Architect have a vision with regard to possible future developments.
Architects should be careful in keeping a correct balance between new inventive solutions and the ability of educators to adapt to these new spatial environments.
The UIA Working Group needs to establish guidelines to help all countries achieve meaningful collaboration techniques
Post occupancy evaluations of facilities with and without collaboration should be researched to establish tangible evidence to support the premise.
The UIA Working Group should develop a responsilbility matrix outlining roles of all team members.
Students should be encouraged to play a meaningful role in the design process.
Collaboration techniques may indeed be the catalyst needed for school development in developing countries.
Procurement methods for school projects should never remove the constant and essential connection and dialogue between the Architect and User.
Architects need to maintain an open attitude during vision planning efforts to achieve the most personal and correct solution to support the educational mission.
Through the dedicated work of Architects and Users, appropriate and timeless solutions evolve - and it will be a fun and invigorating experience for all!
The organizing committee thanks for the support of
Siidwest Zement GmbH, Leonberg
Hochschule fur Technik, Wirtschaft and Gestaltung
Stadt Konstanz, Baudezernat
C. Baresel AG, Stuttgart
Phywe Systeme GmbH, Gottingen
Stahlbau Schmied, Traunstein
VS Vereinigte Spezialmobelfabriken GmbH & Co, Tauberbischofsheim
Page started 28oc19
Made for Young Architects by David Alexander Young 2005-2019. Programme updated 29th October, 2019, 09:22