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THESIS:

Translating pedagogical language into spatial strategy

My thesis questions the role that interior space plays in activating childhood learning within an academic setting. Focusing on the Reggio Emilia pedagogy, this project seeks to translate pedagogical tools into spatial ones. Research and studies show existing Reggio Emilia pre-kindergartens fail to activate “space as the third teacher”, which is something they strive to do. 
 
This project proposes the use of spatial language as prosthesis for education, in order to let users to teach and learn through physical interaction and receive feedback from spatial elements.

For example, glass flooring on the second level studio space becomes observation decks for children to learn color,2D and 3D shapes, materials and movements through watching and tracing; each angled column presents different materials: soft wool, transparent acrylic, reflective mirror and cold brass, which encourage children to touch, feel and observe; partitions range in height from 2’ to 10’, in order to create bright and dark, light and shadow for children to understand sun directions, temperature and seasons.
 
The influence of this pre-kindergarten also expands into the urban realm by internalizing urban cues and bringing out interior spatial strategies. In doing so, the city becomes a playground for learning, forging a connection between learning within an interior academic setting and the city at large.

 
 
 

Three protagonists

Space as the third teacher

Stimulating environment activate play and learning

 

Statistics

 

Structure as pedagogical language

Initial design translates Reggio Emilia pedagogy through redefining the usage and positions of architectural structures.Columns are represented in thin,soft or movable forms;flooring becomes a documentation and observation tool;partitions are interactive.Unexpected representations of conventional steady building elements activate children’s imagination, meanwhile allow children to fully engage in pedagogical activities. Space becomes an interactive teaching resource for children to learn through play.

 
 

Material as pedagogical analogue

My application of prosthesis is analogue to the relationship between “three protagonists”: plaster as children/user, metal structure as space and filter refers to Reggio Emilia pedagogy. Same amount of plaster forms different shapes as it filters through different frameworks of metal structures. The spatial language of this phenomenon could translate into: space determines movements; pedagogy filters activities/events; children play reinforces space, program and pedagogy.

 
 Surface treatment determine activities

Surface treatment determine activities

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 Accessibility requires observation

Accessibility requires observation

 Bring in observation deck and natural elements

Bring in observation deck and natural elements

 Unexpected structures stimulate interests and imagination

Unexpected structures stimulate interests and imagination

 

Initial concept models

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Process plans

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Existing building

240 Kent Ave. Brooklyn, NY

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Final design

 
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1st Floor Plan.jpg
 
 
 1st floor rendered plan

1st floor rendered plan

 2nd floor rendered plan

2nd floor rendered plan

 
 
 Southwest Section B

Southwest Section B

 
 Northwest Section E

Northwest Section E

 

Software used:

Rhino, Vray, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator

 

Branding and graphic strategies by Yizhi Wang

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