Academy of the AKH
Architecture is formative – reason enough to start at an early age to consider the built environment to develop a broad understanding of architecture and its relevance for society. To this purpose, the Academy of the AKH has produced a whole package consisting of publications (schoolbooks, fi lms, teaching materials), architectural projects and workshops for schools. The materials address various age groups and are adapted to their specifi c needs. They offer ample practical opportunities to interest children and teens in architecture and illustrate its relevance for their daily life. The media package (movie on compact disc and teaching materials) and the factbook “Ready, steady, build!” address young children at primary schools. Other publications are suited for interdisciplinary teaching and address students at secondary education levels I and II and teachers. The materials invite practical activities – questions, riddles, assignment games and workshops. Children and teenagers can recognize the interdependences between socio-politics and urban planning, between architecture and landscape architecture, between city, quarter, single house, open space and interior architecture. They understand that they themselves can exert infl uence with regard to urban planning, residential neighbourhood and school environment, architecture and interior design. The various publications were well received by the press and by students and teachers all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Ready, steady, build!” was nominated for the German Award for Children and Juvenile Literature 2010 and the Heinrich Wolgast Award 2011 and has been published in Dutch, Turkish and Egyptian language as well. The movie “About Dreams of Houses and Fairy-Tale Castles” was
developed in cooperation with the school broadcasting channel of the Hessischer Rundfunk (German broadcaster with seat in the German State of Hessen) and transmitted by many broadcasting stations of the ARD (Syndicate of the German Broadcasters under Public Law) and in Switzerland. Furthermore, “Architecture at school” addresses all protagonists accompanying children and teens during the various stages of their education and gathering of experiences: parents and tutors, who play an active role in the workshops; teachers, who are offered advanced professional training in form of seminars, workshops, lectures and guided tours (educational program in cooperation with the Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM (German Museum of Architecture), and architects, who intend to pass on their knowledge in schools and are offered seminars on pedagogic and didactic techniques for educating children or teenagers (Architecture at primary schools – pedagogic seminar for architects and interior architects in cooperation with the DAM). The package “Architecture at school” offers long-term support for handling architectural topics in schools. It can be employed independently from support by an architect, even though such support would be profi table.
Children and teenagers develop an interest in architecture and an understanding for the qualities of their built environment. They are encouraged to exert their influence and bring about changes in their built environment by their own activities – for example, at school, in their home or their quarter. Architecture and urban planning should become part of the teachers’ professional education at universities.