After receiving new plastic furniture for two classrooms, a public middle school in Recife, Brazil was left with a surplus of old style solid wood chairs. The chairs showed signs of wear but the potential within the solid hardwood components was still clearly evident.
The school’s Director was convinced there was a better solution than sending them to landfill. She could see an opportunity to teach students about recycling as well as create a project which could unite and inspire the financially struggling school. The Olympic torch would pass by the school at the end of the month and sentiments of pride and determination were high.
Ateliervivo was invited to facilitate a workshop to explore how this abundant raw material could be used to create positive interventions in the school. Primarily, school staff were interviewed and an engagement workshop was conducted with the students. This clearly established how they currently viewed the school and where there was potential for improvement.
The design-build workshop began with masterplanning exercises with the staff and participants based on personal observations and inspiration gained from the students’ workshop. The subsequent design-build process resulted in the production of a bench, a vertical garden and a series of wooden locks and door handles to replace those that were missing.
Finally, a fanzine was created to record the experience, masterplan and ideas and to guide the school staff for future interventions. Since the workshop, both students and staff have been actively engaged in adding to and improving the interventions provided by Ateliervivo.
Client: Escola Estadual São Francisco de Assis
Tutors: Michael Phillips, Rachael Carter, Natan Nigro, Lula Marcondes, Bruno Lima
Other Facilitators: Ivison Guedes, Paulla Mattos, Luiza Acioli, Danielle Marinho, Jose Eduardo, Italo Vidal
Participants in Workshop: Students and staff of Escola Estadual São Francisco de Assis
Research Question: How might an abundant raw material be creatively re-used to improve the dynamic of the existing spaces whilst imbuing a sense of pride and aspiration with the school community?
Link: Ateliervivo Facebook