ABOUT THE PROJECT
During the urban education project “Take back your city!”developed by Komunitas Association in 2011, pupils from National College “George Sincai” from Bucharest, together with Romanian Association of Landscape Architects (ASOP) and students from the Faculty of Horticulture, Landscape Department (University of Agronomic studies Bucharest), conducted together in May-June 2011 a piece of urban furniture – a wooden platform for relaxing and socializing in the schoolyard.
Thereby, the intervention began with meetings between pupils and landscape students. During these meetings we watched various examples of contemporary constructions and spaces for relaxation, designed to encourage interaction. The pupils presented various problems related to the using the schoolyard but also their wishes of a new design and layout of the space. From discussions with the pupils, it quickly emerged that the only two rickety benches available in the schoolyard were insufficient for the number of users.
In parallel with the workshops, pupils have negotiated with the school management to gain approval for the intervention. With the design completed, the building of a new wood platform began. Being a participatory approach, there have been involved pupils, their parents, landscape students together with the Komunitas team. Armed with drills, bubble level, screws, wooden beams, circular saw, varnish, brushes and paint we headed to the scene. Four days on a lovely warm weather (about 40 degrees), with the close supervision and ”moral support” from the school guards and flat water, we managed to build step by step the platform for Sincai pupils.
The intervention design encourages users to socialize, having a closed shape. Wherever you stay, you are not far from other users of the platform. Thus, we hope that during the use of space in the new form, new relationships of friendships/collaborations are constructed and maybe new ideas will come inspired by this intervention. Involving pupils (in organization, in design and in obtaining the required approval for the intervention), parents and landscape architects gave the project a participatory scale, the essential footprint for the sustainability and maintenance of the platform.