Young Architects take over Rathfarnham, Session 8 & 9

My ambition with this residency is to allow the children to set the direction of each session. The children have grasped the ideas and concepts without hesitation and have been leaders in making choices as to what the content of each session will be. I am inspired with their ideas of what we can build and what materials we can use but at times I find it quite challenging to manage the production of the builds in the classroom. Our process demands teamwork that results in a lot of discussion and compromising. Though for 5 and 6 year olds the level of their dexterity is exceptionally high, there are times mid session when I question if the process demands too much from them. Their teacher Carol has supported the process from the beginning and has been crucial to working through the challenges that the process has given. This has given further confidence in my own belief that the creative process in the classroom has to have an equal partnership between the children, artist and teacher. My residency here in Rathfarnham is also supported by a group of parents who each week assist in each session and without their help we could not achieve the ambitious ideas of the children.

In session 8 & 9 a full day the children wanted to create something they could ……. “walk in rather than crawl” Kaitlin. 13 feet lengths of cardboard tubing and giant cardboard boxes were sourced and delivered to the school. The session stared with a slide show of unusual buildings from across the globe. Buildings that did not look like buildings or buildings that were inside out like the Pompidou Centre, two buildings almost hidden in colour and a building with a dragon wrapped around it seemed to inspire the children most. The children were divided into 6 small groups and asked to design on paper a building or structure. Some groups were able to have clear designs but others found the group idea a challenge. I moved from group to group showing them how to construct their design. Though we had 6 individual builds we linked all of the builds together to make one larger build. As the process developed and the structure grew it reminded me of Corbusier’s Pavilion for Zurich and the Pompidou Centre.

At the end of the session we moved the build to the hall and between now and the next session some of the parents, teacher and children will paint the structure in strong primary colours. Strong images of Corbusier are brought to mind as I think about the next step for our structure.

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