“When can I go back to Arkki, Mommy?”
As a parent of 2 kids, I am all too familiar with holiday workshops that are a dime a dozen but rarely have I seen Buddy feel sad even before the workshop concluded and fervently requesting that we sign him up for the next run. This Arkki (Architecture) workshop proved to be extra special because there was logic, curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, complex problem solving and agency all combined into one. Plus it originated from Finland! One of our family’s favourite Nordic countries.
Welcome to ‘Recycled Cities Workshop‘ at Arkki Singapore where children from 7 to 12 years of age learn about innovation, creativity and sustainability through hands-on, kinesthetic learning. Over the 3 days, Buddy was exposed to principles of Architecture through a series of activities in town planning, human interaction with the environment and creating livable spaces. The challenge? Use recycled materials to build a ‘Green’ town with ‘Green’ buildings via a sustainable theme.
The 3-day workshop taught Buddy the importance of planning, perspective and purpose in designs where solutions to many real-world problems hinge on.
Storming and Norming:
On Day 1, the kids learnt to brainstorm as a team – a critical 21st century competency. In working as a team, they learnt to apply empathetic collaboration skills where they agree to disagree with each other, accept each other’s ideas and give constructive criticism. At the end of the day, they selected the plot of land which they would like to build on and started allocating land space.
Buddy introduced us to his partner whom he is supposed to work together as co-architects. We observed lots of negotiation and delegation happening among the duo. Promising!
Let’s Get Cracking!
Day 2 – Buddy got himself up and ready in good time as he was too excited to go to “Arkki”! Once there, he happily introduced us to his trainers and team mates. We can literally see his enthusiasm radiating all over him! That’s how fun this workshop is. It ignites the curiosity and fuel the imagination in kids.
At the end of the 2nd day, the children were taught how to do an axonometric drawing – a 3D drawing, translating what is 2D into 3D plus making a larger model of their building. So what originally was an ‘abstract’ collage of post-it notes now resembles a small building with a park and a clock tower. He even camouflaged it (he and his love for all things military!). As he explained to us about his building, we were intrigued with the details he has included inside. The building apparently has a Petting Zoo, Police Station, Cinema and “many other things” inside. Not too shabby!
Day 3 – Buddy approached it with a tinge of sadness. He knew it was the last day of the workshop and asked if we can enrol him in the next run of the Arkki workshops the next holiday. Few hours later, when it was time to fetch him, he showed us his creation proudly: his 1:200 scale model of his integrated Shopping Mall , complete with a Police Station and a Dog Park which sits prominently on the town map. We were, quite honestly, surprised at his handiwork and the pride he put into this creation. It may look simple to us (adults) but the degree of coordination, decision-making plus details, while pulling limited resources together to produce this model town is a small feat worth celebrating!
There were spaces that could open up, green spaces for people to cycle outdoors, a pond with fountain and an attached park for dogs to run – obviously taking reference from his many cycling expeditions with Daddy around the bay area.
The 3-day workshop climaxed in a simple certificate giving ceremony. He has, by then, formed some connection with both his trainers and team mates and was feeling sad to say goodbye to them – a good testimony on how well the trainers have connected with the children in the short span of 3 days. Buddy even asked us if the trainers are ‘therapists’ because ‘they were very patient and kind’ and ‘they knew how to motivate me, Mommy’ he said.
A week later, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a brief email report from the trainers on their observations of Buddy during the camp as well as a summary of the competencies that he was exposed to which gave us a peek into his future as a little architect and town planner.
Arkki’s Recycled Cities workshop is a powerful learning experience for kids. It has given the kids the experience of making basic architectural models while appreciating ratios and perspectives. More importantly, it has given Buddy the opportunity to learn to collaborate with other children (of different age groups), to harness their ideas to build a model town with the idea of sustainability at its core – a city of the future built by the very people who will live, work and play in it. How cool is that!
What is Arkki Singapore?
Arkki is the world’s leading school of skills & creative education for children and youth. Their award-winning program uses architecture as a medium to advance the pupils critical thinking skills, creativity and application of academic knowledge. It is an offshoot from the global children architecture school from Finland. Find out more about Arkki Singapore and their programs here.
Thanks to our sponsor, we are giving 2 readers a chance to send their children to the amazing Arkki Creative & Architecture Camps this June school holidays! Unlock your creativity, set your imagination free and witness knowledge in action! Choose from either a) 2-Day Green Town Camp (worth SGD330) on 30 May to 1 June 2022) or a 3-Day Style Masters 1 = Home+Interior Design Camp (worth SGD450) on 15 to 17 June 2022.
To participate in the giveaway, make sure you fulfill these conditions:
1. LIKE AND FOLLOW THESE ACCOUNTS:
2. CLICK ON THIS RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET BELOW TO COMPLETE THE OTHER STEPS (MANDATORY):
The giveaway ends 22 May 2022 (2359 hrs) and is open to readers in Singapore. The winners will be contacted via FB/IG and will have 12 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All steps must be completed and incomplete entries will be disqualified. Please note that all Facebook and Instagram accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or few authentic posts) will be disqualified. No change in camp dates will be entertained. All the best!
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