EXPLORING NEW CONCEPTS IN ARCHITECTURE AS A TOOL OF AWAKENING CHILDREN'S CREATIVITY - CASE STUDY: ART HOUSE FOR CHILDREN
, A. Pašić
Institute for Architecture, Urbanism and Urban Planning (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)
In accordance with recent researches and discoveries in domain of children's psychology, idea of child development refers, briefly, to biological and physiological changes happening within the human being since its birth until the end of adolescence period. Parallel, and of equal significance, is the process of developing emotional and intellectual intelligence. Environment, surroundings in which a child resides has an exceptional impact on its development – social, emotional and mental. Also, of primary significance is the way in which a child is able to react in that particular environment. In that sense, certainly the most important form of activity to these young humans is Play.
According to Stephen Nachmanovitch (musician, artist, educator; 'Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art', 1990) ‘play is the root and basis of creativity in art and science, but also in everyday life. Improvisation, composing, writing, painting, theatre, invention, all creative arts are the forms of playing, starting point of creativity in the cycle of human development, and one of the greatest functions in life.’
Recently, awareness of the complex world of children and their needs started to progress within the world of adults. In this connection, apart from conventional institutions for children – kindergartens (which develop various skills through creative play and social interaction), and primary schools (which provide knowledge), new type of institutions for non-formal learning were developed. Those are children's museums, which provide knowledge through play.
If we could, to a certain extent, combine these different kinds of houses for children, eventually we would come up to a particular system in which the basic elements of architecture can serve as an impulse, stimulation of mental and emotional sensors with children. Activated in this way, they would be able to produce creative energy which, in final, could be used to create small works of art. This children's art factory is partly based on a museum conception, in so far as it displays certain spectacles of the real world. The difference is that those are not dinosaurs, machines or trees, but basic manifestations submissive to the reaction of human senses – picture, shape and sound.
Considering that children, no matter what, should be conceived as 'true geniuses' (Einstein), all the more the purpose of this concept is to respect them enough in the way of providing them large amount of liberty in their individual experience and activity. Hence concept aims to reduce already formed, 'adult', ideas of mentioned manifestations, to the more abstract level. After decomposing to the level of abstract, with the purpose to motivate children's mind and sensors - by children's activity everything reaches again to the level of concrete – small individual materializations of their accumulated creative energy.
This research is trying to make a reverse process – recurrence of an adult human being to the colorful children's version of the world, one that does not need conventional elements for its simulation. That world is simply there, its main machinery is imagination and borders are infinite. Since adults are prone to drawing frontiers, this project is also an attempt to reduce those to a minimum, to decompose as much as possible some of the fragments of our reality, and leave children to experience its manifestations more individually, and to materialize and shape that experience.