Learning Through Architecture

One-year course at Sortedam School

Client: Sortedam Public School
Our role: Education
Location: Sortedam Public School, Copenhagen, Denmark
Status: Finished

For a number of years, arki_lab has conducted year-long courses at various schools around Copenhagen, using architecture as a means to explore and discuss current urban issues. The course differs according to class, school, neighbourhood, and year, giving students a tailor-made curriculum that is relevant to them and their specific surroundings.

One example of this is ’Our schoolyard,’ a one-year course conducted at Sortedamskolen, which was based on current issues with the schoolyard not being large enough to accommodate 7-9 graders. As a result, they are being displaced to the surrounding streets and neighborhoods. This significantly limits the ability for them to socialize. However, the students have access to a small yard beside the school, but the remote location means the students are not using this space. The project ’Our Schoolyard’ attempted to address this issue by providing the students with an opportunity to explore urban design with a building workshop. The course was broken down into three phases, which made a complex issue more easily approachable, and brought different school subjects into focus at various stages of the project, to act as a framework for applied learning.

The first phase focused on urban design and the built environment. Methods included an urban race, providing new inspiration and knowledge for the future urban school grounds, a site analysis of the school's area followed by class discussions. In the second phase, "The temporary home", we applied principles from subjects such as math, physics and social science to architectural practices, where students were given the task to solve real world problems by applying their newly acquired design knowledge. In the last phase, "My Copenhagen", the students worked collaboratively to create a final design.


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