Out of the box partnerships
Parallel Solutions - Ethiopia
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Out of The Box is a fresh approach to developing and facilitating children, youth and community oriented spaces in urban and challenging environments in Ethiopia. Working with children, communities, resident associations, architecture students and small scale businesses OTB aims to build adventure playgrounds, art walls installations, permaculture gardens, social space and multipurpose children's centres: inclusive of all ages, genders and abilities. At its core OTB aims to facilitate active community participation and engagement, whilst promoting the importance of play, cultural dialogue and exchange, and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to PLAY, LEARN and SOCIALISE in their immediate community. OTB works hand-in-hand with the local community, schools, resident associations and students from the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), collating ideas from community consultations and encouraging active participation in the fundraising and build process – which in turn will promote the long term care and sustainability of the site. OTB works with the community over a period of several months – conducting design workshops and collating ideas and input from children, carers and the wider community. The build period occurs over a short time frame with distinct activities taking place at each phase. From start to finish the community is actively involved and engaged. We value the process as important as the end result. This development of every project is thoroughly documented, implementation manuals will produced by the OFTB architects to assist mobilization and coordination during the construction phase of the project. The manual will consist of breakdown of materials, organization of teams, tasks and tools, as well as guidelines for construction and assembly of the design concepts. These teams work in harmony throughout the process to maintain a smooth construction process. The building materials mainly consist of bamboo and recycled tires. Most equipments are assembled following simple and easily understandable methods. The children are part of both the design and construction process through workshops and community participation programs. This involvement helps the young to have a sense of ownership for the built structure and claim it as their own. And it is an achievement for the kids to have a playground with their own identity embedded with every step f the building process. Based on the above principles, the first prototype was executed at Balderas condominium. Both the children and administrators have been part of the journey during the design and building process, Once the construction phase was finished, it was the responsibility of the community to look after and administer the playground. The built space has a character of traditional architecture fused with recycled materials appropriated to be fit for a children’s space. It has been a year and a half since its completion and Balderas condominium and this playground has been promoting a vibrant and interactive community space.
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