Studio leader: Isabel Lasala
There are an estimated 100 million children living in the streets of the world today.
Australia, the 12th most powerful economy in the world, does not escape this situation. According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census, 18.000 children, under 12 years of age, are reported to be homeless in the the land of the 'fair go’.
This striking situation is even more dramatic when one learns that a significant proportion of those children actually prefer to live on the streets to escape from their violent and abusive homes. This fact makes extremely complicated the task of restoring the trust and the hope of those that have been betrayed by the people who were meant to unconditionally love and take care of them.
The studio argues that architecture can contribute to address this problem, specifically through an appropriate implementation of the notion of ‘play’. Play, understood as “a distancing from the light and shade of daily life” (Callois, 1958), can create spaces in which children can start connecting fun and pleasure with a renewed sense of trust, safety, and reliability.
This studio seeks to challenge this situation, providing students with the opportunity to think how ‘play’ can start claiming an instrumental role in the creation of public space in the city.
More precisely, the studio aims to use the notion of play as an instrument to connect the street with a building in which the basic needs of homeless children can be provided. Students will have the opportunity to explore and propose different formal and spatial configurations to provide those basic needs, which might include places to sleep and eat among others.
The studio will also ask students to implement design strategies based on challenging the disciplinary boundaries that exist between architecture and landscape architecture. The intention is to create atmospheres produced by the ambiguous spatiality that emerges from their combination.
The design process will be undertaken through three main methods that complement each other, which include observation, case study methodology, and design exploration.
This project has to be represented employing a wide range of different tools of architectural communication, i.e. physical and digital models, drawings, and images, etc.