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Inspiring Change: Collaborative Learning at the School of Architecture for Children in Favara

14/05/24, 11:00

Franca Carassai

Franca Carrassai was recently a visiting tutor at the School of Architecture for Children in Favara, Italy, promoting creativity, citizenship, and urban knowledge among young minds.

Over the last two months of 2023, I h¬ave had the privilege of collaborating as a tutor at the School of Architecture for Children in Favara, Italy, part of an integral Italian organization Sou-Schools. Sou Schools actively promotes exemplary educational practices that captivate, allure, entertain, and impart meaningful content, beauty, and emotion.

School of Architecture for Children, holds and champions a set of values that deeply resonate with individuals, evoking feelings of trust and hope for humanity's betterment and a brighter future. The SOUper initiative goes beyond conventional education by actively promoting good practices of citizenship to enhance the health and overall quality of life for children, families, and communities.

My engagement with this organization has been both inspiring and impactful. It has given me the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded colleagues and professionals who share a common vision of working collaboratively with children and young people to create a communal space for and with them, where urban knowledge can flourish.

My involvement with SOUper transcended the mere teaching of architectural principles; it was about nurturing a broader skill set. It involved cultivating a mindset of active participation, empowering young minds to play a pivotal role as citizens, and encouraging them to shape a better future. As a tutor, I found immense fulfilment in contributing to the development of not only architectural knowledge but also essential life skills that can serve children and young people in their journey towards a conscious and critical urban thinking. I truly believe in architectural educational practices empowering young people, fostering their creativity and empowering their voices. Whether or not they go on to work in the built environment professions, it’s important that children and young people are left with an analytical eye, an informed opinion and a confident voice, that makes of them, powerful and confident future citizens.

I want to thank SOU Favara, for the opportunity, Farm Cultural Park for hosting me and Ruth Campbell for her flexibility and for allowing me to combine my passions which make me be constantly looking for new adventures and experiences involving placemaking, co-design methods and collective processes within the city-making process. And I hope to continue working and developing my skills involving co-participatory design and educational programmes with children and young people also here in London.

— Photography by Nadia Castronovo

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