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Samskara, Made in India © 2014 Anshika Varma


Madrid, ALCALÁ 31 Museum

Caja Casa 1:2 / Carton Cubbyhouse 1:2
Children Workshop in Sala Alcalá 31

Madrid, Spain

December 2014

In collaboration with: Cocoarte and Comunidad de Madrid

Director: Anupama Kundoo

Workshop assistants: Alba Balmaseda and Ariadna Barrio

Team design: Anupama Kundoo, Alba Balmaseda and Ariadna Barrio

The aim of this workshop is to facilitate that children experiment and experience architectural issues through play. Cartons are a familiar everyday object that children are used to seeing around them. Most people have experienced children occupying these by physically sitting into empty cartons or dragging each other around in them. They are light and easy to handle and can be interpreted during play as bathtubs and beds for dolls, kitchen counters, table tops, etc. By discovering the spaces within the cartons as well as spaces contained in assembling cartons, children understand easily the relationship between shapes, forms and volumes obtained by the different folds; structural behaviour and the creation of habitable space.

During this three hour workshop children were able to create a play house of their own scale (1:2 of the adult scale version) by assembling empty carton units as building blocks, a familiar activity through previous memories of lego and similar blocks with the difference that this time it is in their own scale. On one hand children occupy the space of the house they have created and on the other hand they occupy the individual cartons to assign them a use for the various house hold functions such as cupboards, kitchen, storage, etc eliminating the need for most furniture. Gaps placed between the cartons serve as windows to bring in light into the house, while saving material.

This task activates the child’s imagination and creativity, as well as understanding of the relative sizes of things with respect to their body. The claimed spaces are spontaneously coloured brightly by the children to mark these as active areas, while the rest of the outside cartons are painted white. Spaces within walls accommodate domestic objects and flower arrangements, while some stand alone cartons are used as baby beds or planters.

Children experience space, materiality, structure and scale, through a simple 3 hour play session.