It’s no secret that children seem to learn faster and retain more information when they’re relaxed and happy. That’s exactly why educators have used games, friendly competitions, sports, and other diversions to teach their students lessons for the better part of the last century.
Rica Studio, an architecture firm based in Madrid, Spain, dedicates all of its projects to the enhancement of learning, and its latest achievement makes up a key part of the new “English for Fun” center in the south of the city.
The Philosophy Behind English for Fun
When English for Fun was founded in 2008, it was largely based on the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy and teaching system. This approach revolves around the belief that children’s potentials should be strongly encouraged, placing the utmost importance on personal insight and individual decision-making.
The Power of Open Space
Kids see open space as a blank canvas for adventure. Learning is often a powerful by-product of open space that goes largely undetected in most scenarios. Playing simple games, hiding, rearranging the environment, and conjuring up imaginary people and places – all of these play activities are part of the learning experience. Rica Studios recognizes these paths to education and used them as templates when designing their latest educational enhancement.
With folding steel walls capable of opening on either side, this shelving system is filled with hundreds of different-sized cubbyholes. The lower half of its maze-like pattern is supported by the floor, while the upper units are attached to the ceiling. Kids can rearrange them to create neutral spaces large enough to fit inside or build bridges and forts that fuel creativity and storytelling. Rica avoids any predetermined “formulas” that claim to appeal to the minds of children and hopes that the kids will use their own minds’ eyes to guide the ways they use the sprawling shelving units.