Students, their parents, teachers and school stuff will form a school community with the help of architects, designers and artists … a team of professionals to rethink the desks, walls, school yard … school environment and create a new vision of architecture and human relations in it.
This project will become a prototype. Following its results a manual for tutors will be developed, which will help opening the road to future collaborations between artists and schools.
RETHINKING SCHOOL is a project created by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and the Architectural Thinking School for Children as part of the National Plan for the Arts.

We will explore together with all school community from children to their parents and stuff space of a school as a complex synthetic phenomenon and multi-layers subject of study. Through meetings with students, team work, tasks for exploring school space we will understand problems of school in their diversity, from lightning to sounds, from social to ecological aspect.
During research stage students will be the main participants of process accompanied on some phases by multidisciplinary team of professionals which will expand the horizons of perception of the school.
Satellite events will expand the scale of a project from research within space to study school in context of city history, time and the role of people in shaping the image of the school.
How It Works
Workshops for students
A series of 7 interdisciplinary workshops during which students will explore the school space in all its diversity, identify the «bad and good» spots, bring to light the opinions of the whole school community and make their own proposals of what needs to be changed.
Experts' Research
An open call for experts from different fields (sociologists, product designers, acousticians, lighting designers ...) will be announced. Selected experts will explore the school space and identify problems in various areas. This will give an another, a professional point of view to the school space.
RESEARCH QUEST for teachers and school staff
The quest will show teachers and school staff opinion on the school space.
Public Events for All
A series of 5 public events to show the importance of the school, to form a school community and make all voices heard: students, parents, teachers, administration, canteen, maintenance, cleaning and medical personnel. Research Exhibition will be a final event where the outcomes of research by students, experts teachers and school staff will be presented.
Design Assignment
Design assignment will be developed on the basis of research findings. It will specify what has to be designed. It could be a canopy, playground, street art mural ... Design assignment will be approved by the school administration and included in the curriculum of the next stage.
Find assigned spaces. Photo, map and describe spaces according to given instructions.
Presentation of the project. Explaining the goals and objectives of the project and why it is important.
Issuance of tasks (separate) for children and adults (teachers, parents) for independent study/research of the school. By this stage, develop special research brochures with games, quests, tasks, etc. for the interactivity of the process. Designation of restrictions (time, opportunity to work in a group), the outcome of the study (future final public presentation). Duration of research – one week.
Search for specialists from various fields to participate in the study. Find experts from areas such as sociologists, product designers, acousticians, lighting designers, etc. through an open call on social networks. Present the project to them and explain their role.
Study of the school space by experts (program organizers) from various disciplines. Explore the space of the school to identify problems in various areas.
Organize a meeting-discussion for large audience with school graduates: how do they remember the school, what it was like, how it feels, etc. Lecture for children and adults. The aim is to give an understanding and a sense of the depth and importance of the school, not only as architecture, but as a place with history and its past. Make a video fixation for project archive.
Organize an exhibition at the school open space with archival photographs, texts, drawings, graduates notebooks, etc. related to the history of the school. Explore the history of the place: an archive of photographs of the school. With it to show the phenomena of school in context of time with its "depth"; to show that for the project both the view of the future generation and the historical layer of the school's past are important; to show school community the school as an evidence of time flow.
Meeting with the children to check their research and prepare for the public presentation. Invite psychologist to help with. Presentation training, designation of the framework and format of the future presentation. Record the results (scanning/ photography).
Presentation of the research results by children to adults and vice versa. Invite large audience. Q&A.
We will show to public the results of the children's and adult's work within the framework of the project; initiate a discussion between children and adults on research issues; give children the opportunity to express their thoughts and involve children in an unusual "adult" role of analysts for them, giving them the opportunity to ask adults questions
Video fixation of process.
Organize an exhibition of the results of children's research at the school: photo survey, comics, results of sociological surveys, photos of process of the workshops. It will unite the school community around the current project and will underline the questions and problems of research. The exhibition in open space will keep the entire school community informed about the ongoing stages of the project. Make public opening during research presentation. Involve high school student in process of preparing.
The group of the project collects and analyzes all received data (from children, adults) to understand the general and popular needs of the school community and identify the most pressing and actual problems.
With received and analyzed results of research team of project developing the assignment for next step.
Getting to know one another, creating a safe environment, negotiating the rules of communication, build a team. Introducing the project, its goals and stages. Explaining what research is and how it works.
Find assigned atmospheres blindfolded, only using sound, smell and touch. Map the atmospheres.
Find assigned spaces. Photo, map and describe spaces according to given instructions.
Find assigned spaces. Photo, map and describe spaces according to given instructions.
Explore the school through people. Prepare questionnaires for social survey, assign survey groups, interview people. The results of the opinion poll will be presented at the exhibition and used in the design assignment.
Explore materials and schoolyard soil composition together with SKREI (PT).
Create comic books, depicting what and how could be changed in the school
Learn to present. Research presentation rehearsal.
12-36 students (10-12 y.o.)
School staff
Administration, canteen, maintenance, cleaning and medical personnel
Elena Karpilova and Alexander Novikov Architectural Thinking School for Children
Invited tutors and speakers
Francisco Adão da Fonseca Skrei
Students from education colleges
education & DESIGN
We will study design basics and learn what plan, facade, section is. We will get acquainted with works of the most important architects today, learn to make paper models and understand form, image and atmospheres in architecture. We will study structures and create our own tower models from spaghetti. And then, each student/team of students will design his own project for the school and learn to present it.


Architectural thinking methodology will be used during the RESEARCH and EDUCATION & DESIGN stages. This methodology was developed and successfully implemented by the Architectural Thinking School for Children.
The Architectural Thinking School for Children teaches architectural thinking as a tool for understanding the modern global world. We took the architect's work as a model, since they possess a huge range of knowledge and skills: they are good at conducting research, using knowledge from completely different disciplines, creating projects, and presenting them to the public. The systems thinking possessed by a professional architect is what we call architectural thinking.
We will study design basics and learn what a plan, facade, section is on the examples of the most influential contemporary buildings.
Learn to make models. Make a cube, pyramid, cylinder and sphere out of paper.
Get acquainted with works of contemporary sculptors. Make sculptures of insects out of expanded polystyrene elementary shapes.
Get acquainted with image in art, cinema, sculpture and architecture. Create an artistic work out of color paper with given image characteristics.
Learn to analyze sensory information through sight, sound, smell and touch to understand the intangible qualities of architecture. Draw the atmospheric sections of our rooms.
Study architecture structures. Create models from spaghetti in teams as part of the competition for the highest tower.
Design a project (plan, facade, section, explanatory note) on the basis of the design assignment
Design a paper model on the basis of the project
Learn to present
We will get acquainted with the outstanding works of Francis Kéré, an architect and Pritzker Prize Laureate 2022, who's incredible life story shows the extreme importance of education as a tool of change. We will learn Kéré's unique vision of school architecture and try to define our own approach to school design.
12-36 students (10-12 y.o.)
English, biology, art, drawing, physical culture
Elena Karpilova and Alexander Novikov Architectural Thinking School for Children
Students from education colleges
Students' projects will be set to show at the exhibition. Students will present their projects in front of the school community at the exhibition opening. The Best Project Award selected by the professional jury and the Public Choice Award selected by the school community will be awarded at the Awards ceremony. All the rest participants will receive their unique prizes.
Each student will shortly present his project and answer the questions of the audience and professional jury. The process will be captured on video.
Projects will be exhibited to the wide audience
A public voting for the best project will be organized during the exhibition. Each community member will have a chance to give his opinion anonymously. The Public Choice Award will be awarded to a winning project.
The jury will select a winning project for awarding with the Best Project Award. The jury will go through all other projects to find certain strong features in each of them so that every student can get his unique prize.
Winner's announcement and awarding: Public Choice Award selected by community voting and Best Project Award selected by the jury. In addition to winning projects, each several project will get its unique prize for a certain strong feature in it.
Documentary film screening: video recording of how the project went, videos from workshops, research and other choices.

12-36 students (10-12 y.o.)
School staff
Administration, canteen, maintenance, cleaning and medical personnel
Elena Karpilova and Alexander Novikov Architectural Thinking School for Children
Professional Jury
Lisbon Architecture Triennale team, School administration representatives
Students from education colleges

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