School Space is a playful combination of research and creative project in the course of which students will use different scientific and design methodologies to explore the school of today in order to create a vision for the school of tomorrow.
For the first time, the project will be open to international participants! The project culminates with a youth architecture conference in Estonia, where every participant has the opportunity to present their design to an international audience and get feedback from the proffessionals of the field.
Vision of the upcoming project:
Project will start in October , 2023.
The School Space creative project introduces students to the work process typical to design and architecture, and it gives them a glimpse of the research methods used in natural and social sciences. The student takes up the role of a scientist, whose task is to identify the peculiarities of the school environment, as well as the role of an architect, who develops the spatial concept. At the end of the project, the students’ vision of the new school space will be completed: a design for transformation of a part of the school building or courtyard. Ideally, it would be something that can actually be built by the students themselves (with some external help and guidance). Building the design is not compulsory part of the School Space project, but it would be a natural and possible continuation of a good idea.
The teacher is tutoring the students participating in the project. The tutor’s role is to keep the team’s motivation high, ensure the timeline is followed, and to guide the team if necessary.
To make this task easier for teachers, we have compiled an explanatory handbook for the project and involved professionals of the field to critique students’ work. Teacher of any subject can become the tutor, as well as other education workers.
The project consists of eight tasks and it takes about two weeks to complete each. The tasks include the subject of research, instructions and tips, case studies, examples and advice.
As a result we are hoping to see inventiveness, creativity and smart reasoning. There are no right or wrong answers, instead, the focus is on divergent thinking. Students are expected to investigate the raised questions in a variety of ways, explore different sub-topics and alternative solutions.
The project will culminate in an international youth architecture conference. At the end of the project each team is expected to submit their outcome to the jury and receive feedback from the experts in the field in return. The most active teams will present the results of their work at a fun collective gathering. Each participant of the projects is expected to take part in the conference.
The project runs from October to May and is aimed mostly at primary school graduates and high school students, but there is no age restriction for participants.
Important Information in Summary
School Space project is based on the pilot project School Space ‘16. For the first time the project will be open to participants from all over the world!
The School Space programme introduces young people to real-life issues of our everyday spatial environment, using analysis, research, observation, and creative methods to solve problems.
Divergent thinking is central to this project – describing and solving problems as interdisciplinary phenomena and discovering alternative possibilities, as opposed to simplified, one-way problem solving arriving at a single correct answer.
The subject of the School Space project is the schoolhouse as an environment that supports different learning activities and methods and that promotes physical activity. The prerequisite for successful learning is physical and psychological well-being. Mental effort must be balanced by the possibility to challenge oneself physically or through relaxing body movement.
The project is aimed mostly at primary school graduates and high school students, but there is no age restriction for participants. We suggest participating as small teams (e.g. 3-6 people), but it is also possible to work alone.
The tutor is the teacher instructing the students who participate in the project. The tutor’s role is to keep motivation high, ensure the timeline is followed, and to guide the teams if necessary.
As the final outcome of the project, the students will develop a new vision for a place in the school. There are no limits to the visionary thinking, but it is advised to guide the students to focus on one space or part of the schoolhouse, rather than the whole building. You can also consider choosing something that could actually be realized by the students themselves or in cooperation with the school community. Focusing on a smaller, delimited part of the building makes the process more conceivable and the possibility to actually build the idea helps to integrate it with real life.
Students present the results of the work to a jury of specialists, from whom they receive both individual feedback on their project and valuable advice and encouragements. The project concludes with an international youth architecture conference, School Space, where the most active teams present their work to others.
October 2023 to May 2024
In the course of the project, eight tasks are tackled, each of which must be finished in two weeks. The first four tasks involve architecture-related research topics provided with introductory and explanatory background materials. The last four tasks give students the possibility to develop their own vision of the school space.
Each task begins with the tutor’s introduction, which is followed by a common discussion, sharing of the initial ideas, and division of assignments within the teams. After completing a task, the next research topic can be introduced.
Example of deadlines for submitting the tasks
Task #1 12. October
Task #2 2. November
Task #3 16. November
Task #4 30. November
Task #5 14. December
Task #6 18. January
Task #7 1. February
Task #8 15. February
Submitting the project in March
Final gathering and presenting the results 2024. May.
Project is organized by Arhitektuurikool (Architecture School) , MTÜ Ruumiharidus.
Download explanatory handbook (pdf):