I aim to shape products, interfaces and services that mediate meaningful dialogues between people, systems and their environments within everyday life.

Aug
12
2011

Place-Playmate

A simple ring around a tree acts as a new space for kindergarten children to learn and play. The idea of using senses and bodily movement as tools for learning inspired the design:

The preferred space for teaching preschool children avoids the classical dynamics of frontal lectures. In “Philosophical Investigations,” Ludwig Wittgenstein writes that what children and foreigners have in common is the absence of knowledge of language and a set of codified rules. This leads them—in the first instance—to learn through the senses and the body. To give the children more freedom to move around the school, the directors of the Fuji Kindergarten requested Tezuka to design spaces without furniture: no chairs, desks or lecterns. As a result, “Ring Around a Tree” offers an architecture where there are no measures taken to constrain space, in order to liberate the body.

The Japanese Zelkova tree had already been a “place-playmate” for several generations serving as a treehouse, temporary shelter, and climbing area before being transformed as an addition to the Fuji Kindergarten.

Looking back on my own experience, the staircase and balcony of my childhood home was a playmate for my sisters and I. In addition to functioning simply as a connection between floors, it became an area for us and our friends to slide down and climb, listen to story time and to put on puppet shows. What was your place playmate?

Reply

Instagram