In September we invited the public to a workshop on learning environments at Zagreb University in Croatia. The following story tells how Croatian architecture and design students participated in the workshop and came up with new ideas about how to improve classrooms in schools in their home country.
Zagreb, 06 November 2013 – Carlos Vasquez, a Chilean architect who has worked for UNICEF since 2006, recently held a lecture at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb about the role of architecture in the design of educational facilities for children.
The lecture was an introduction to a three-day workshop during which the students of the Faculty of Architecture and Design Studies came up with ideas about how to improve classrooms in the following five schools in the Požega-Slavonia County: Treštanovci, Tekić and Trapari district schools of the Mladost Elementary School in Jakšić; Toranj district school of the Ivan Goran Kovačić Elementary School in Velika; and Skenderovci district school of the Dragutin Lerman Elementary School in Brestovac.
The students picked these five schools themselves. After having studied educational conditions in the schools, they tried to find an innovative way of improving conditions for the children. As a representative of UNICEF, Carlos Vasquez helped them by sharing his experience of similar actions in crisis stricken areas of the world. The activities of UNICEF in the field of education and reacting in crisis situations are based on the belief that education is a fundamental human right.
All the decisions and plans are made with the interest of children in mind. The purpose of classroom design is to grant children the right to a safe, healthy and motivational environment for education. Moreover, spatial accessibility is as important as the quality of education. Architectural barriers make it impossible for children with disabilities to attend school, which means they cannot exercise their right to education.
The aim of UNICEF’s expert Carlos Vasquez is to improve current spatial conditions in schools in crisis stricken areas of the world in order to grant all children the right to adequate education. The results of this workshop and the engagement of students are important for the future of child-friendly architecture in Croatia, because these students will create the architecture of the future.
Read also an interview with Carlos Vasquez about design and architecture of schools
Related reading: Workshop about designing school furniture with 3D models