Sustainability, Architecture, Education
In the principal of sustainability 18 students and professionals among them architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, urbanists, students of social sciences and topography with the support of Ark4 lab design studio, Ecoist NGO from Serbia and Vitaverde joined together to create and redesign a schoolyard and its surrounding area, connecting the detached left over green spaces the city has to offer. Being situated on the line of an old torrent, which once flushed the surroundings with green nature and ran through the city to the sea, the school stands as a grey area covered in concrete. Building upon this knowledge the redesign followed the flow of the once existing torrent. Main aim is to involve the school, teachers, students and the neighborhood to take part in our activity and create awareness combining sustainable environment, architecture and education.
Six day Workshop
The six day workshop was divided into different sections. The first day started with an introduction with lots of input from international speakers. The second day was followed by a site analysis at the school and the surrounding area where the remains of the torrent were still visible. Through a discussion with the school’s pupils, we got a good idea of their needs, uses, fears, and we took all their suggestions under consideration . Day three was a of preparations, creating the concept and the first steps towards the implementation of an installation. On day four we separated into specialized groups speeding up the process and building upon what we had designed as a whole group the day before.
Day five was the great day of the installation. With some plants, unused irrigation pipes provided by the municipality and recyclable materials which had been thrown away in the neighborhood of the school, the installations to enhance the green areas in the schoolyard started to develop. About 10 students from the school joined us in building the installation. We all worked hard: cleaning, planting, cutting and carrying and it was worth it. We ended the day finishing the presentation and the poster to be presented the next day. On the last day our hard work was presented in the city hall of Thessaloniki to all the other workshop groups, architects, landscape architects, environmentalists and the vice mayor and was appreciated very much.
The Flow of knowledge
All in all we had a great time together. We had the chance to learn from each other in many different ways. One of the most important experiences was understanding the importance of working well together when 18 people focus on one project in order to have a great outcome. We managed to make a great presentation following our concept “The Flow of Knowledge” connecting the once existing torrent with the aim of the school, transmitting the knowledge about sustainability beginning at the school and gradually flowing into the neighborhood, to other schools. In order to reach our goal and continue the flow we want to actively connect many people with the project. Therefore, in two weeks time we will go back to the school, present them our concept and keep everybody involved as much as we can.
Furthermore we want to develop a program to realize the project involving the neighborhood and creating a volunteer group so that they can continue the actions together with us. Anyone who is interested is asked to join us. Taking small actions, like planting recycled plastic bottles, getting things done today are small steps for us but great steps for the environment and social community.
“Get together – Change together”