Alex Gilliam from Public Workshop worked on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 8-9) with our neighborhood youth at the Avondale YFD Center to design-build prototypes for a full-scale build to take shape during the AIA Convention August 24-26. The concepts the kids played with helped them innovate play structure ideas which will inform the design of their upcoming new YFD center. The workshop was sponsored by GreenSpaces Chattanooga, as part of their Learn by Design Chattanooga project.
Alex continually emphasized the malleable nature of buildings and official projects put in place within kids’ own communities. They have a voice, and with some experimentation, their imaginations are fully engaged to express preferences and make design choices that they have a stake in.
The kids who participated learned to use power tools and quickly got collaborative, working in teams to cobble together the tallest impromptu climbing structures that could bear weight. Prior to discussing design principles, Alex leads by getting the participants into hands on experimentation. The group who created the tallest sturdy form proudly propped the makeshift jungle gym up against the front of the Avondale YFD building, to climb up to the highest roof peak. Those who bravely climbed up, giggled with the mischief of displaying their building and climbing antics in the large picture window where local senior citizens were gathering to play bingo.
Rondell Crier of Studio Everything on Glass Street, is beginning to bridge the connection for Avondale kids who are interested in using power tools and learning increased building skills on a more consistent basis to come work after school at Studio Everything’s Tuesday/Thursday after-school workshop hours. He also participated with Teal Thibaud, and Michal Walton as team facilitators. A big shout out to our community partner, Green Spaces for sponsoring such a great event, investing in East Chattanooga.