|M.Sc Student||Zameret Harel Kanot|
|Subject||The Spacial Relationship between Children and their Urban|
Environment: Form, Expression and Mutual
Construction. An Exploration Inspired by
the Reggio Emilia Educationa
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Full Professor Aravot Iris|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
We have always been aware of how much the culture of inhabiting a place influences the personal identity of each individual, and in fact this awareness became one of the principles of our educational philosophy?..." (Rinaldi, 2006, p.20)
The educational approach developed in Reggio Emilia after World War II, which takes its name from the city, firmly intertwines educational experiential processes with the environment in which they occur, and argues that place-dependent formation of identity is at the foundation of cultural development.
This study is driven by the conviction that the Reggio Emilia approach can be used to broaden and develop the disciplinary research tools of architecture itself.
The research focuses on children of preschool age, an early age in which the bodily experience is highly present in shaping the world. This offers the opportunity for close investigation of such experimental body-space relationships and an opportunity to learn from the children’s unique ability to wonder in many languages.
Based on a Reggio Emilia approach, the research question is: What is the form of the relationship between children and the urban environment in which they live and operate? How is this relationship reflected in the education of a preschool located in the city of Tel Aviv?
A case study of the Gan Hashalom preschool provides the site for the research. The kindergarten is located in the north of Tel Aviv, where the bustling city meets the port and the beach. This area is the cumulative research field in which eight varied tours took place, in which the children acted and maneuvered in an experimental, direct, and physical manner. Using a qualitative method, the study probes the phenomena of the interrelationship between children and the urban environment through the lens of their activities, movements and perceptions.
The findings of the research identify characteristic knowledge based on the relationships examined. They provide for the evaluation of space as a set of relationships between the body, spatial and social aspects, a trenary structure which interacts in giving meaning and order to the urban environment. The conclusions thus propose a set of values for planning that are firmly anchored in the physical world, and based on the conviction that body and space share a common language.
The research sheds light on the mutuality between relationship and form, body and space, learning process and space, promoting the awareness of architects to the relationship between children and their urban environment.