Paraa, in collaboration with Aparajeyo-Bangladesh and Leedo, launched a two-day design charrette on (please insert date um not sure). The competition sought to develop ideas of a ‘child friendly space’ exploring aspects of designing a sense of belonging within an area of temporary existence. The competition was aimed at students, recent graduates and young architects of Bangladesh. Four teams: Kabbo (North South University), Khelagari (comprising of members from Bengal Institute), Bittanto (Premier University Chittagong) , and Aborton (Premier University Chittagong) took part in this Charrette.
The design charrette was focused on creating a child friendly space which reflects the identity of the kids of Kamalapur Railway Station. In the allocated space the “Aparajeyo Bangladesh” team provides non-formal education for vulnerable kids of the area.
The very first day of the design charrette was on the 20th May. It was structured in two sessions; The first session was about a basic introduction and we exchanged some ideas at Paraa studio; in the second session we visited the site and met the kids.
After introduction and an idea exchange session, we talked about our working process, especially in this project : the ‘Participatory approach’.
First, Farasha talked about the project ‘Safe Space’ in detail. Abeer also presented a brief synopsis on ‘Participation’ as an approach to manage a community project, followed by another interactive presentation by Tahmid. Tahmid talked about his experiences and learning from the projects he led in Paraa engaging students in a participatory manner.
It was great to see all the fresh participants’ enthusiasm in such a project .
Refreshed with tea, the students sat for an extended presentation from our guest, Architect Tamzid Farhan Mogno, who displayed case studies of some creative participatory artworks in different countries. He also shared some of his valuable insights and techniques.
After lunch, all of us went to the site. We met the children of the school along with the facilitator Ruby apa from Aparajeyo Bangladesh at the Shahartali platform.
We invited some kids from the LEEDO Peace Home. Farzana, Jasmin, Nijam and Sania shared their experiences of working with Paraa to create their own personalised space with the BRAC University students’ group ‘Mittrika’. The Kamalapur kids were excited and inspired by their stories.
After some ice breaker games and a brief discussion with Arefin, the students split up in groups. They took a tour with the kids to learn more about their lifestyle, places they hang out, play and live. They spent some more time with the kids to get to know more about their hopes and dreams.
The session concluded with snacks and debriefing of the whole day’s activities and impressions.
It was an opportunity for the students to observe closely and learn more about the Kamalapur terminal community. In order to design a space for these kids, it is crucial for the participants to understand the struggles and vulnerabilities the kids deal with while growing up in such a context.
Paraa, as always, encourages all the participants to think critically and also to have fun in the process.
Here are some pictures of the day :