Farming Preschool Would Teach Kids How to Grow Their Own Food
Winner of the AWR International Ideas Competition to design a new nursery school, “Nursery Fields Forever” reimagines what nursery schools could be like. Designed by a team from Italy, composed of Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar, and Davide Troiani, the entry refutes the modern notion of shaping a child’s perception of the world based solely on urban environments, accepting children as being inherently curious naturalists. This trait is stimulated and guided to create a unique educational approach, holistically combining nature and food cultivation into its curriculum.
Game, nature and technique are combined with the nursery to create three approaches to learning: learning from nature, learning from technique and learning from practice. The development of children is encouraged through interaction with animals and plants, also encouraging their self-esteem and social interaction with the introduction of tangible goals in their education.
In our age of constant digital contact, connecting kids to nature seems more difficult than ever. Fortunately, intrepid thinkers, like Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta and his team of Rome-based designers, are envisioning innovative ways to bring children closer to nature. Dolcetta, along with Gabriele Capobianco, Davide Troiana, and Jonathan Lazar, recently won the AWR International Ideas Competition with “Nursery Fields Forever,” a proposal that fuses urban farming with nursery education.
Part farm and part school, “Nursery Fields Forever” offers three approaches to learning: 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.” The school is designed as a cluster of gabled buildings that overlook a variety of garden plots and livestock pens.
Teaching children how to grow and harvest their own food, as well as how to interact with animals, could help kids improve their social skills through teamwork, encourage self-esteem, and promote healthy lifestyles. The students would also learn about renewable energy from onsite wind turbines and solar arrays.