In this talk, architect Takaharu Tezuka walks the audience through a kindergarten school in Tokyo that he designed, allowing five-year-olds to cause traffic jams, with windows for Santa to climb into.
The classrooms are boundary-less and there is no inside and outside in this school, where the architecture resembles a roof. Tezuka remarks, “And the principal says if the boy in the corner doesn’t want to stay in the room, we let him go. He will come back eventually, because it’s a circle, it comes back.”
Being noisy is an important element of this classroom. The architects explains, “We consider noise very important. You know that children sleep better in noise. They don’t sleep in a quiet space. And in this kindergarten, these children show amazing concentration in class. And you know, our kind grew up in the jungle with noise. They need noise. And you know, you can talk to your friends in a noisy bar. You are not supposed to be in silence.”
“Each classroom has at least one skylight. And this is where Santa Claus comes down at the time of Christmas,” he quips.
His advice to parents? “My point is don’t control them, don’t protect them too much, and they need to tumble sometimes. They need to get some injury. And that makes them learn how to live in this world. I think architecture is capable of changing this world, and people’s lives. And this is one of the attempts to change the lives of children.”
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