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Learning by Doing < > Learning by Seeing 

To advance a 21st c. primary education in the context of our climate emergency, we propose a ‘dialogic’ pedagogy structured around local and global knowledge.


Chris Jarrett, Peter Wong, Negar Amini

Traditional classrooms have been transformed into collaborative makerspaces (plyvilions). Inspired by Danish barns, each makerspace comprises a different activity, applying a ‘learning by doing’ model specific to farming practices of the region. The makerspaces are composed of open, day-lit rooms offering ‘framed (local) views’ of edible fields and open play areas. Below ground are cavernous, dark, quiet spaces with nooks, cubbies and compartments for daypacks and coats, offering children personal space to read a book, write a story or take a nap.

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Site Section

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Typical Pavilion Section


Typical Pavilion Plan

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Typical Pavilion Elevation

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Shared educational, social and administrative functions are collected in a high-tech tower (plyscraper) located at southern end of the site. The tower accommodates different functions, applying a ‘learning by seeing’ methodology employing digital tools to advance an understanding of Denmark and its role in the world. The tower is composed of varying floor heights to accommodate an auditorium, computer lab, library, canteen, arts center, and media room. An open multi-purpose gathering space caps the tower, providing children ‘panoramic (global) views’ of the city and world beyond.

Tower Diagram

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The makerspaces and tower are joined by a field condition conducive to farming practices (seeding, growing, harvesting) and play (running, and sitting. Below grade is a horizontal geothermal loop to move heat to and from buildings. Post-carbon, cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels (Norway Spruce) enable column-free floor plans for maximum adaptability.

D-School is the new UnSchool.

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