The Venice Pavilion of the 17th Architecture Biennale hosts the exhibition dedicated to Education Stations, where the question of spaces for learning and teaching is addressed using the design criteria of the Earth Stations, visionary architectures that aim to expand thinking towards a desirable and beneficial future for our planet and for future generations.
In particular, the Education Stations are five buildings for learning that stem from a reflection on the educational role of the built environment and the study of how the psyche is influenced by the surroundings. Architecture and context are fundamental educational elements and have a profound influence on the formation of the personality, and for this reason the environment cannot be designed as a neutral box, but must reflect the idea of the learning that we want to foster. Through people’s interactions with spaces, objects and environments, the aim is to create a psychological and relational harmony that is as fulfilling as humanly possible and which stimulates the growth of both the individual and the community. After all, we can have all the wisdom in the world constantly at our disposal, but if we have no desire to use it and if we do not learn how to manage it effectively, it is all wasted. Today, it is not enough to have knowledge, but we need to know how to use that knowledge. And we need to know where to look for it.
In the Education Stations we have compared the five stages of growth of a human being to as many evolutionary stages of human societies. The architectural elements that mark the evolution of civilization are the cornerstones of our concept of educational buildings that do not presume to replace traditional education systems but aim to complement them.
In an ideal world, we can easily imagine that a good life could begin with being born in the countryside, maybe in a farmhouse, nurtured by a peaceful and mindful family atmosphere. In the countryside there is close contact with nature, with animals, with vegetation and the passing seasons. Then the children go to school in the village, where they meet other children, other people, other ways of thinking and behaving. They start to communicate, to relate through the use of language, to listen to the stories of the past and to share the dreams of the present. After junior school, the child will go to the town to attend high school and to tackle the more important and more complex subjects that need to be learned. In the town, that phase of growth linked to a close relationship of dependence on the teacher will probably end and a new, more responsible and conscious phase will begin. That child has become a young adult, free to decide for herself. She finds herself in the street, with the possibility to go in any direction she desires, to stop, or just to wander. She has life and the world in front of her, and only she can decide how and when to face it. This parable also contains all the elements involved in the growth of our civilization. The Farm Station is metaphorically the farm of the first humans, who ceased hunting in the woods and picking berries and stopped. They stopped traveling around the world and decided to make the world revolve around them instead. They planted seeds in the fields and created enclosures to raise animals, discovering the advantages of producing plants and animals for food to make their lives more comfortable and easier. The farms then grouped together in order to better face the difficulties and dangers, and so became villages (Village Station). The first communities were born and people began to cooperate with each other, and then the villages grew and became Towns (Town Station), and then the towns were interconnected and roads appeared (Road Station), and then the roads extended over the world, making it smaller and more accessible every day (World Station).
AMDL CIRCLE is a creative multidisciplinary studio renowned for its humanistic architecture and design. It is led by Michele De Lucchi, one of Italy’s leading architects and designers. Headquartered in Milan, Italy, the Studio is built on 40 years of pioneering work on iconic projects including the Unicredit Pavilion in Italy, the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi. According to AMDL CIRCLE humanistic principles, the continuous search to improve the quality of life, both physical and intellectual, constitutes the very foundation of design.
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