I’m fascinated by Fuji Kindergarten, as profiled by Fiona Wilson in Monocle magazine. Fuji Kindergarten is a school whose building was designed by Tezuka Architects.
I wish my kids could go to Fuji Kindergarten. I wish I could have gone to Fuji Kindergarten. I wish I could go now. Fuji Kindergarten, I reckon, is what happens when "chutes and ladders" meets a thought experiment about education which goes back to first principles. What makes it so unusual an educational institution is that it places the most emphasis on learning, rather than on teaching. And on students rather than teachers (and, I’d wager, on teachers rather than administrative staff…). Think about that one for a while.
Next time I travel to Japan, I’m going to try and visit Fuji Kindergarten. In the mean time, I’m going to try and apply some of its lessons to our own school project over here at Stanford, called the d.school. Perhaps we can work harder to make the architecture really support the learning process behind design thinking.
By the way, I’m beginning to really dig Monocle magazine.
You should check out this projects http://www.classic.archined.nl/news/0207/AldovanEyck_playgrounds_eng.html by Aldo Van Eyck, on a city scale. They are as interesting as their kindergarten, but with the addition that anyone can meet in there. Truly fantastic. It is beautiful how very simple concepts turn into an awesome world of imagination, just by the action of kids. I wrote a post about this, if you have a moment, you can give it a glance http://www.on-doing.com/centernotes/childrens-play/.