Audience for a Playground
ARCHITECTURE, CITIZENSHIP & LEARNING
STARTING THE PARTICIPATORY CONSTRUCTION / / / / / / /
VILLA VERDE, CONSTITUCIÓN, CHILE
28 July 2017
CONSTRUCTION WEEKEND 1
On the weekend of the 28th and 29th of July we began to build a set of spectator stands with the Villa Verde community in Constitución. These structures were designed through a participatory process between the people of Villa Verde, Urbanismo Social, V2B Construction, and ALDEA, while our leading counterpart was the Las Camelias neighbourhood council.
The objective? Revitalise a small empty space adjacent to the neighbourhood sports court, which has the potential of becoming an important civic center - as it is also next to the neighbourhood council facility and a future elder’s social center. The neighbours - adults and kids alike - got out their gloves, helmets, and tools to clean the terrain, trace out the foundations, and get digging (which was quite the challenge given the tough terrain!). On Sunday we finalised the excavation of the foundations, which we project to finish next week,
The construction, not only because we thought it should be, but also with limited funds available, needed to be participatory. The neighbourhood, however, came in full force to tackle the challenge with ample volunteers. Though it was hard work, it was also a community celebration filled with music, games, food, and lots of jokes all around. Everyday we sat down together to enjoy delicious meals prepared by community members (labour as valuable as the construction itself), including traditional dishes like arroz con pollo, tallarines, sopaipillas, and calzones rotos.
SOME OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD VOLUNTEERS IN THE PARTICIPATORY CONSTRUCTION
Children were able to find different ways to learn and play within the construction process, from helping to dig out the holes to using the leftover dirt to build their own bike ramp, or using found clay to create sculptures. Within the process of building and creating exists a space for many different types of play, which brings with it invaluable learning opportunities.
Being a process of co-responsibility between the neighbours, community members were united for a common cause and were able to take ownership of their shared space.
PREPARING THE REINFORCING STEEL FOR THE FOUNDATIONS
In collaboration with:
Urbanismo Social Foundation
Financed by the Chilean National Council for Culture and the Arts