As the world has become more and more saturated with technology, there’s undoubtedly been a shift in how our young ones learn and interact with the world around them. Kids as young as two or three are exposed to tablets and smartphones, both to their benefit and detriment. This has many people concerned that they’re not developing strong connections with nature.
A team of Rome-based designers and thinkers, known as ‘aut- -aut,’ are developing innovative ideas that seek to bring nature and children closer together. The team recently won the AWR International Ideas Competition with their “Nursery Fields Forever” proposal, which would combine urban farming practices with nursery education.
“Nursery Fields Forever” is based around three essential methods of learning for the children. These include learning from nature, learning from technique, and learning from practice.
“We think that kids should enjoy nature,” said Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta to Fast Company. “So we designed this strange school: No classrooms, but open spaces where vegetables grow inside and animals can come in too. It’s a mixing of the two things, school and nature.”
As you can see in the design plans, the half-school half-farm idea comes together as a grouping of various buildings with triangular rooftops, each with its own garden or livestock area.
The project seeks to educate children on the methods and benefits of growing and harvesting one’s own food supply in a sustainable manner, as well as promote social skills with team projects. Positive self-esteem and healthy living practices are also at the core of their goals for the children. And finally, they would learn about renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, that would be implemented onsite.