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From drawing to a unique fluffy toy

What a great idea! Send you child's artwork to Child's Own Studio and they will transform their creation into a custom made soft toy.

Much more fun than your traditional cuddly toy - and better than a beeping flashing thing... It's a piece of art! You could even attempt making your own...

Via Lovely Morning.

What are your earliest memories?

I was looking through old photos the other day, and oh the memories...

Of my little sister and I having picnics with our teddy bears, making tents in the garden to sleep out in, and here, one of my favourites, this old tree in the park down the road that had a ladder reaching up onto a platform that was wedged into an old pine tree.

Here is my sister (in the green t-shirt) and I (in the pink) - sporting matching outfits made by our clever mum.

I remember this moment exactly - the view of the surrounding park (with the cows grazing), the view over towards Auckland city, and the fear I felt of not wanting to go too close to the edge!

A centre in Israel that sits atop public space - fostering community

This Educational Campus was built as part of a winning entry community hub - which included an auditorium, a sports centre, a residential tower and an educational wing, around a public space - serving as a vital communal connection space.

The architects Mayslits Kassif Architects designed the two kindergartens on the top floor of a two storey long horizontal building.

The woven ground floor timber structure is the public space and separates from the upper floor kindergartens. It creates a light filter and playful articulation of horizontality and linerarity, and is inspired by traditional handcrafted Tel-Avivian brise-soleil architecture, providing solar protecting whilst enabling an air flow through the facade.

Internal courtyards provide semi-sheltered space for play...

And the winner of the Sustainable Schools Future Proofing Schools Competition is....

CMA+U and team. The competition asked for ideas for the next generation of relocatable 21st century learning spaces. 

CMA+U's design entry was based on an idea of 'click-learning' modules - enabling extended learning.

A CNC fabricated timber system allows for the enture structure to be flat-packed nad easily assembled on the chosen site. The design also integrates functional storage and partitions, display and learning 'pods' holistically into the design. Whilst powder-coated metal/timber panels add fun and choice to the scheme.

The flexibility of the structures construction allows for changes to be made depending on climate - and blurs the lines between inside and outside.

Via ArchDaily.

A special school in Japan that uses a metaphor of a small town

Inariyama Special Education School in Chikuma, Nagano, Japan is designed by Japanese practice Atsushi Kitagawara Architects.

Containing a number of units, the architecture is conceived of as a small town - combining outdoor courtyards, open spaces, small vegetable fields to stimulate activities for both the children and the local community.

Utilising traditional Japanese wood construction techniques, the school is almost entirely made of lumber form the Nagano prefecture.

A useful spatial design guide from community playthings

Community Playthings, a company that manufactures wooden products (such as tables, chairs and storage units) have collaborated with child care experts in America to create this design guide (2009). Whilst it works to "show off" and advertise their products to early childhood practitioners and may not be exactly architecturally inspiring, it does offer some good practical advice for when considering space in an early learning centre (I've bolded the keywords):

The importance of space

"Our designs shape children's beliefs about themselves and life. In a well designed area, children are engaged and feel secure. A well designed area can facilitate predictable, consistent and intimate care for each child" (Olds, 2001).

Too often spaces for early childhood are in society's cast-off spaces: church  basements, converted warehouses...and even "purpose-built" centres are often designed more to the adult's needs rather than the children's.

A good early learning space is predictable, has clear boundaries and pathways, enables movement and exploration, privacy, variety, is challenging, flexible, stimulating, inviting, welcoming and homely.


site by Ana Degenaar