We are proud to announce that the winners of the Safe Space design competition are: Aborton from Premier University, Chittagong.
About the Design Charrette
Paraa, in collaboration with Aparajeyo-Bangladesh and Leedo, launched a two day design charrette in April 2016. 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. Teams were challenged to use a critical lens to explore and emphasize on how to address the idea of a ‘school under the sky’, ran by Aparajeyo Bangladesh, within the Kamlapur station area, a ‘public-facing’ environment. Designing public spaces embedded in the urban, political, legal, socio-cultural realms of the everyday mega-city means being confronted with diverse challenges continually.
Five teams, Kabbo (North South University), Khelagari (comprising of members from Bengal Institute), Brittanto (Premier University Chittagong), Aborton (Premier University Chittagong) and a team from BUET, made it to session 1 of the charrette. The first workshop constituted of presentations by experts from the Paraa team, art enthusiast Tamzid Farhan Mogno and children from LEEDO children charity.
The teams rigorously discussed ideas through a feedback session organized at the Paraa studio on 23rd May, before three teams realized and presented ideas on the 25th of May to a jury panel consisting of architects, researchers, film-makers and academics. Jurors judged schemes and reflections of each team on aspects of context analysis and realization, how the sense of ownership or identity is being addressed, sense of creating impactful spaces, community engagement and architectural communication methods.
Why Aborton won:
The participants analyzed the urban context through power structures and explored the daily lives of the children. The team proposed for a meshwork of color-filled bottles hung from the roof of the station, to give the space a sense of identity when looked at from a stretched distance. The design further worked to recommend an alternate flooring pattern, during and after the school timings, suggesting for a gridded pattern for the time period when the school is running and a plain pattern for when the children are to play. This idea was appreciated by the children jurors and would potentially provide a sense of belonging within the users. The design successfully involved the community by proposing a painting session on the walls, narrating the story of ‘Meena.’
In response to some of the other submissions received:
Kabbo worked to achieve ‘functionality’ through the project. The participants proposed for an innovative customized paper carrier, that the children named ‘balakboard.’ Made from recycled cylindrical paper holders or cans and paper boards, the team added flexibility to their product by incorporating a mechanism which allows the objects to act as shelves, when hung from a perforated jali wall surrounding the station, or to act as panels exhibiting the drawings that the children make at school, when necessary.
Brittanto developed an idea of interactive spaces for the children. During the school timings, the area is marked with a single rope of demarcation. This allows the children to be easily distracted by the crowd that gathers around while ‘Ruby apa’ teaches. In relation to this crisis, the group proposed for a waterproof fabric panel (terpal) to enhance the concentration of the students. They furthered intended to make swings out of recycled tyres that were to be hung temporarily from the structure of the terminals roof. The team effectively sought to involve the children in painting a rainbow with handprints, aiming to achieve a sense of identity and depicting a thought of ‘reaching high’ or ‘step by step achievements.’