New international conference aims to highlight importance of architecture for children

Children and young people hold enormous potential for the transformation of cities. Both playful and thoughtful, young people’s imaginations and thoughtfulness can serve as a significant source of inspiration for making cities more engaging and socially just. The new Ludantia conference aims to promote better understanding of the role of architecture in the lives and wellbeing of young people, and of how they can participate in it.

Ludantia is an international event that seeks to bring together practitioners with diverse experiences in education in architecture – those who think broadly about the form and function of the city – its public spaces, natural areas, and processes of inclusion – to exchange experiences and promote a deeper understanding for methodologies in the field of children’s participation in urban design and planning.

Architecture and education

The idea of hosting a biennial Ludantia event came from a recent gathering in Madrid, in January of 2016 at the 3rd Education in Architecture International Meeting, organized by the Grupo Playgrounds, wherein participants spoke of the value of holding regular gatherings for exchange, promotion of research, and furthering the agenda of architecture’s potential in education with children. The first of a series of biennial events, conceived by Jorge Raedó, will be held in Pontevedra, Spain in April to May of 2018. The Biennial invites submissions of exemplary projects of children’s participation in urban spaces, and will open platforms for entries in 2017. Select projects will be displayed in a month-long exhibition in Pontevedra in May 2018. The event will culminate in a series of workshops on architecture and education that will engage children and families in both Pontevedra and nearby Galicia, Spain.

ph. Javier Vera

Physical and symbolic space

The event aims to highlight both actual projects – that critically reflect on public spaces, the physical or symbolic transformation of spaces, and children and youth as key players in transformative actions – and to develop theories of children, architecture, and education, through essay submissions.

While there are many international conferences in which practitioners and academics reflect on the role of children’s participation in public spaces – including the recent Child in the City conference in Ghent and the upcoming 5th International Conference on Geographies of Children, Youth and Families, planned for September 2017 at Loughborough University in the U.K. – the Ludantia biennial is a unique opportunity to focus specifically on the linkages between architecture and education, and the direct and actual role of young people in shaping and transforming cities.

Victoria Derr

References

Ludantia: Encuentros de Educación en Arquitectura para la Juventud. Un Espacio de debate y propuestas que nace de los Encuentros Internacionales “Playgrounds” https://arquitecturayeducacion.wordpress.com/

Author: Victoria Derr

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