About SIGUS Outreach programs
SIGUS outreach programs work with local schools in defining their planning and design needs and building awareness of the spatial heritage among children.
Participatory School Yard Design
The international expert Dr. Tony Gibson, O.B.E., of the Neighborhood Initiatives Foundation, England, joined with SIGUS in guiding the 4th grade of the Hamilton Elementary School, Brighton, in a 'hands-on' action-planning workshop designing their school yard. A model provided a common reference point around which to structure inputs, balancing interests of students, teachers, and the larger school community. A graphic, pictorial technique was used to overcome difficulties of verbal communication and misunderstandings. It is particularly suitable for children with learning disabilities. The results provided a 'kick-off' for the funded schoolyard initiative now underway.
Participatory School Space Study
MIT students contributed architecture skills, parents their experience, teachers their understanding of needs, and children their unbiased wisdoms of school and life.
SIGUS worked with the Hamilton Elementary School Parents-Teachers Council to identify space needs and improvements. Focus was on immediate, 'can-do ourselves' actions. Interaction was through a workshop format with innovative participatory exercises exploring effective communication through oral, visual and modeling techniques.
Neighborhood Architectual Explorers
A program for elementary schools to build awareness of the urban architectural heritage while challenging the creativity of students.
The program received generous financial support from the Boston Foundation for Architecture, established in 1984 by the Boston Sciety of Architects with funding by architects and allied professionals. Additional resources are from the MIT SIGUS Program and the MIT Department of Architecture.