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© Escola Marià Fortuny

In March, the time of pre-enrolment for primary and secondary schools, the schools with which the COAC works to introduce architecture into the classroom made a point of highlighting this important and differentiating factor on their syllabuses.

For the past three years, the COAC has been collaborating with the Camps Elisis school in Lleida and the Marià Fortuny school in Reus through the Magnet programme, a joint venture of the Jaume Bofill Foundation, the Ministry of Education of the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Barcelona Education Consortium, and the Institute of Education Sciences of the UAB.

The aim of the Magnet programme is to tackle the issue of school segregation through partnerships with leading institutions. The COAC implements this through its educational programme, ArquiEscola, a project that aims to bring architecture to the classroom by providing teaching staff with the tools to provide a more structured viewpoint of our environment, and aims to foster critical thinking about the construction and transformation of the spaces we inhabit, and to stimulate creativity.

Two pioneering schools
With the slogan of Construïm junts (Let’s build together),the architects who developed the COAC programme at the Camps Elisis school collaborated closely with its teaching staff. The students worked across the board, experimenting with different materials and techniques, and teamwork was a constant feature throughout the programme. Together, they developed new symbolic play areas, created reading corners, and gave serious thought to how to create more sustainable cities, among other topics.

The Marià Fortuny school chose the slogan of Transformem la llum (Let’s transform light). The COAC’s architects and the teaching staff used the tinkering method of learning to create a sundial, a time lapse device, and experiments with black-and-white photography, all based on light and shadow. In addition, architecture students from the ETSA-URV visited the school to join in the project to redesign the playground, a very large space that they want to put to new uses.