Daily access to education has been long taken for granted, especially in Europe. But what if there’s no school to go to every day? What if teaching as we know it is not available to everyone? One might say this is excellent news – current teaching models are outdated and do not prepare us for the future. But what if that’s not a matter of choice but a harsh, forced reality? Due to the war, the Ukrainian educational system has been heavily challenged. Destruction of buildings and facilities providing education; disturbance of learning curricula; shortage of teaching personnel (dispersed across Ukraine, Europe and the world) and migration of kids and teenagers who lost access to their schools – all these calls for immediate intervention. The one that might go beyond fixing the problem here and now: reimagine instead the ways of practicing education and redefine what it means to be a student, an educator, a teacher. How, in these circumstances, can we propose alternative models for educating and learning? What could education be for young Ukrainian citizens if not just a school?
How can we move education beyond the walls of schools and give new life to destroyed and vacant out-of-school educational institutions and venues? What should we learn today at school that will be relevant in the context of the future challenges faced by Ukraine and the world? Think of life-long skills, STEAM, jobs of the future. Kids and teenagers need education now more than ever as a platform to build a sense of security and stability and integration. They also need it to experiment and play – preferably in a multidisciplinary and inspiring environment.
So, if not a school as we knew it before the war, then what?
Potential outcomes might focus on (but not be limited to):
The scope of the concepts is practically unlimited, however some examples of the projects that you might end up with include: architectural concepts, digital and analogue tools, speculative scenarios, strategic design proposals, products, service concepts, cultural activities, games, events, audio/video documentaries, manifestos, podcasts and more.
* By prototypes we mean samples of your creative concepts that could be tested and presented to an external audience – they might be tangible models but also sketches, visualizations, storyboards, video documentation, digital mockups, etc. Prototypes need to give an idea of how the concept would work in real life but they don’t need to be perfect nor cover all aspects of the project. They should be bold, intriguing, understandable, and open to future iterations. The prototypes should demonstrate a creative mix of the diverse competencies your group members bring to the table to enrich the proposal.