Ampiainen / Jaana Räsänen
AMPIAINEN (wasp) has been buzzing around Finnish schools since 2005. It is a joint project by the Design Museum, the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), the Finnish Association of Designers (Ornamo), the Association of Professional Graphic Designers in Finland (Grafia), the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Arts Council of the Helsinki Metropolitan Region. The main mission of the project is and has been to introduce architecture and design education to primary, secondary and upper secondary schools. A number of methods have been used to achieve this aim: visits by architects and designers to schools, lectures and workshops, a website and an annual magazine. Through themes that vary annually, AMPIAINEN has over the years encouraged participants to take a closer look at the work of architects and designers. In 2010 AMPIAINEN co-operated with the international “Fantasy Design in Community” project, challenging Finnish children and young people to take part in and discuss the processes of designing, planning and developing their own surroundings.
The AMPIAINEN workshops and events have given school children the chance to observe, design, plan, create and build together with professionals. Architects and designers have visited schools to present their work and profession through lectures, workshops and open conversations, also supervising pupils’ own projects on architecture and design and participating in their evaluation processes. Alongside school visits, AMPIAINEN has organized architecture and design afternoons for teachers. These events have included inspiring and interactive architect–designer lectures with short exercises, workshops and discussions. Teachers have appreciated these creative afternoons, which have given them new ideas for their own schools and lessons.
In addition to local events, AMPIAINEN has created nationwide interaction models using two media formats. Every year AMPIAINEN has published a thematic magazine with articles, interviews, pedagogical material and project presentations. A free copy of the magazine has been and will be distributed by post nationwide to every school, other institutions and interested persons. The idea is to disseminate the experience that has been gained in architecture and design education and to challenge teachers, professionals and children to share their experiences of our built environment.
AMPIAINEN also has a website (www.ampiainen.fi), where it publishes free pedagogical material, an exhibition of children’s projects and news from the field of architecture and design education. The website has proved to be a useful information channel. Digital media has made it possible to reach schools all over the country, for example when launching AMPIAINEN events and architecture and design competitions for children and young people.
Annual themes of AMPIAINEN:
2005 Ampiainen pörrää (The work of architects and designers)
2006 Ampiainen asustaa (Housing through the ages)
2007 Ampiaisen väri…nää (The meaning of colours)
2008 Ampiainen REMIX (Intercultural dialogue)
2009 InnoAmpiainen (Innovation and creativity)
2010 Fantasy/Ampiainen (Community and participation)
15 000 – 20 000 copies of Ampiainen Magazine has been distributed to all primary, secondary, upper secondary and visual art schools as well as to architects and designers.
Finnish curricula of education includes some architecture and design as a part of art education. Teachers have warmly welcomed the magazine and the website as a useful teaching material.