A Curriculum

Most playgrounds and spaces for children in North America today resemble nothing so much as dog agility courses, divorced from context, devoid of agency. In 1762, Rousseau wrote that children should be “hardened against the seasons, the elements, hunger, thirst, and fatigue”; that their education should be derived from their own ability to draw inferences from embodied sensation. In 1943, a playground opened near Copenhagen, an empty lot filled with construction materials, to be used by children with no directions but their own. Giving children the agency of their own imagination, on their own terms, enables exactly the kinds of futures we cannot imagine. The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire  wrote that education either functions as an instrument used to facilitate integration into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which people discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. This site is a former landfill: a site of possibility, full of objects that, seen through a child’s eyes, can be played with, experimented upon, even inhabited. A Petri dish for a future civilisation; free not from history, but from dogma.

Project by Lara Hassani
/ 2019 / Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto
/ tagged architecture