3. Selim Primary School Playground


For whom: 3. Selim Primary School students
With whom: Istanbul Uskudar 3. Selim Primary School
When: 2019

Between February and May 2019, we produced a playground project with the students and teachers in the garden of Üsküdar 3. Selim Primary School within the scope of Harezmi Education Model. In the project we participated in the design process of the students who want to improve the playgrounds in the school gardens during the spring term of 2018-2019, we also realized the transformation of the ideas to the architectural projects and construction works.

Harezmi Education Model aims to “reinterpreting the interdisciplinary approach, adopting the cooperation of different disciplines of equal value, integrated with the Computer Science teaching Social Science branch, adapting the Computational Thinking skills to life, Programming and Teaching tools are used effectively, fun with Robotics and Game design is an educational model which constantly updates itself.” Üsküdar 3. Selim Primary School was included in the model, which was in the third trial year in 2018-2019 academic year, and they started to work with a group of 13 girls and 7 boys from 3rd and 4th grades. Because it is a primary school, instead of different branches, three different class teachers and one guidance teacher were included in the model. During the fall semester, studies were carried out to determine problems, to conduct researches and surveys about that problem.

The students identified the inadequacy of the playgrounds in the schoolyard as the problem. They started to develop ideas about new playgrounds through several sketches and models. Funda Bayraktar, Uskudar National Education Directorship Harezmi Coordinator, contacted us at the end of the fall semester to help the students to develop their playground designs. The content and calendar that we recommend to develop designs first with small scale models and then one-to-one prototype experiments and to make a production at the end of the period in order to meet the expectations within the scope of Harezmi, were accepted by the school and as of February, we were involved in the studies carried out in two course hours on Thursday every week. We started the process by listening to the works made by students until that day. Next week, we made a presentation according to our thoughts shaped by students works on the possible projects that we could produce and we discussed the examples together. In the following weeks, we aimed to develop structural proposals with pipettes firstly with the help of needles as the binding material and than  proposals for surfaces by adding bristol papers. While developing these proposals, students working in pairs presented ideas through interim presentations and received comments from us, as well as from their friends and teachers. At the end of the model studies, we wrote all the ideas on the big papers we hung on the wall and made evaluations together on the common points and the differences.

Following the small scale model studies, prototype productions were made in one-to-one scale with large cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, ropes and adhesive tapes. Students worked in 3 groups in this stage, and after it we produced a model proposal for construcion in line with students’ ideas and wishes as well as budget constraint and our building capabilities. After discussing and revising this proposal with the students, we realized an construction workshop.

In the application workshop on May 11-12, 2019, we built a structure with 1.5 m3 impregnated wood in the school yard under the trees, which has a hanging track and a tree house on two sides and could operate as open classrooms and playgrounds with its’ different levels. While our members, school teachers and architecture students participated in this workshop, on the morning of May 11th, the students came to the school to learn about the work to be done and to experience the wood and tires by touching and playing. After the workshop we also built a picnic table with the remaining wood. We mounted car tires to each other and to the ground, and converted them to trampolines with wires as supplementary elements for the wooden stucture. We also completed the operations such as fixing the structure to the ground, applying paste and varnishing during the visits we made after this workshop.

We would like to thank Fulya Bayraktar, who conduced us to be a part of this process, to the school teachers Agah Tuncay, Nalan İnanç, Songül Yüneyoğlu, Ceren Şimşek and manager Örsan Özkan for working together in a mutual learning status, to the participants of the construction workshop, to supporter parents and to the students for working together to realize their dreams.

Here you can find the project booklet about the whole process.

Here you can find the photo album of the project.

3. Selim Primary School students: Demir Öztorun, Selin Özgü Türkmen, Belinay Kurtuluş, Doruk Emrah Akkaya, Merve Kökden, Kuzey Demir, Beren Katmer, Çağan Ulaş Doğru, Selin Elfin Yavuz, İrem Şimşek, Meliha Beria Berse, Metin Akman, Cemre Su Çiftçi, Aybeniz Selin Kargın, Irmak Yaman, Ahmet Lütfi Yıldırım, Sinem Akbal, Ada Çapa, Kayra Aşçıoğlu, Ahmet Berat Gülbaran

Participants of the design process: Begüm Büyükdağ, Emre Gündoğdu, İdil Bayar, Merve Gül Özokcu, Okan Aydoğu, Timur Alihan

3. Selim Primary School teachers Agah Tuncay, Nalan İnanç, Songül Yüneyoğlu, Ceren Şimşek and Uskudar National Education Directorship Harezmi Coordinator Funda Bayraktar

Participants of the construction workshop: Beril Sezen, Efecan Soysal, Ekin Güneş, Emre Gündoğdu, Merve Gül Özokcu, Mina Öner, Sarper Takkeci

Istanbul Okan University Department of Architecture Brokoli Student Group members Efekan Çakır, Hatice Fişekçi, Mustafa Demir

3. Selim Primary School teachers Agah Tuncay, Nalan İnanç and Uskudar National Education Directorship Harezmi Coordinator Funda Bayraktar


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