Photo by: DAVID GUO
Image Source: http://www.indesignlive.com/the-ideas/need-teach-kids-architects
It’s great to see Indesign Live posing the argument ‘Why we should Teach Kids to be Architects’ this week. Focusing on the Beijing, 798 International Children’s Art Festival program, the article captured a snapshot of an interactive architecture installation designed by Rotterdam Design Studio, Collective Paper Aesthetics. Concluding that with better creative and mathematical skill future generations could build something beyond our imaginations.
We love the idea of challenging our children to become design thinkers for whatever career path they take. But as parents, how do we encourage and foster both creativity and mathematical competency and an appreciation of their real world application?
According to Author, Amanda Ripley, in her book The Smartest Kids in the World, (an exploration of how countries around the world excel or fail with their education systems) she says regardless of where you live and the school you’re enrolled in, consistently the most effective way to engage with your children as parents is talk to them about current events.
Encouraging their opinions and challenging their views. Sounds simple enough, but in a society predisposed to discuss the value of property, not the quality of its design, (perhaps with the exception of Melbourne, and of course Architect offspring), how do we bring that casually into a family conversation?
It’s always nice to have a conversation starter, so we’re looking forward to the ABC TV broadcast Tuesday 8 November, 8.30pm of ‘Streets of your Town’. Hosted by Broadcaster, Comedian and architecture enthusiast Tim Ross, the two-part series explores how the suburbs of Australia have evolved.
A celebration of modernism and pulling no punches on the evolution of McMansions, the central tenet of the series has not been well received by all critics, see SMH ‘Tim Ross’ Streets of your Town opens the door to flawed debate on McMansions’. But even SMH journalist Sarah Thomas concedes ‘The show’s one-sided snobbery conversely makes it compelling viewing because of the debate it sparks. What constitutes a home? And who’s to say what’s right or wrong?’ An excellent starting point for a robust family discussion. Hopefully the show will also encourage broader public discussion and we adopt a longer term association between value and great design.
It will be amazing to then expand the conversation with Foxtel’s Lifestyle and Lifestyle Home Channels to find ‘Australia’s Best Home’. Featuring architect Nick Tobias, founder of Tobias Partners, and interior designers Gillian Khaw and Tim Leveson, this series has the presenters stay a night in unique homes across Australia, getting to know the owners who created them.
The series again poses the question ‘What makes a house a home?’ It certainly challenges the affordability argument featuring a home in Adelaide, created by architects and built with friends, costing a mere $70,000. It begs the question of how we employ the construction industry and how we work together as a community to create the neighbourhoods where we live.
While these are not quite the hands on activities experienced in Beijing they do provide a great opportunity to engage our children in conversation about what architecture means and its role in our built environment. If you are looking for some structure for your conversation and perhaps even taking the discussion up a level, you might refer to Architecture and Design article ‘Seven Simple Ways to Create Healthy Happy Neighbourhoods’ and find out how your kids would redesign your street.
Overall, we are interested to see if this media approach might provide some context for experiential creative and mathematical learning and how those experiences really do contribute to the real world.
See further images of the 798 Festival at http://www.indesignlive.com/the-ideas/need-teach-kids-architects