The aim of today’s workshop was to produce a plan drawing for the Study Center, building on the models they had made last week and the staking out on site, as well as kids’ drawings of the individual rooms.
As a warm-up, we started with a game of Pictionary. We had pre-prepared cards in three piles, which stated a space, activity or quality from the Study Center and one mother a time would take it in turns to pick a card and draw it on a board. To make it more fun we split the mothers into two groups and had them compete against each other. The mothers asked if there would be a prize but unfortunately we didn’t have one. Alas, it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts!
After the game, we brought out the Study Center models they had made at the previous workshop and enough card for them to draw the plan at the same scale. At first they were quite tentative about drawing directly on the paper and asked for pencils so that they could rub out their mistakes. One group went straight into drawing the plan and details freehand while the other group took the time to trace around the boxes to get the sizes just so, though this wasn’t fool proof: they started at opposite ends of the building and then found that the two half didn’t line up (they fixed this by replacing parts of the drawing with fresh sheets of paper and copying it out in the correct alignment).
There was also an element of cutting and pasting as some parts of the building were drawn in the wrong order in comparison to what they had agreed already with the model. One of groups also ended up having two of the same room drawn twice next to each other. You cant have too many architects. But ultimately we wanted to test the mothers and let them make and learn from their own mistakes and stimulate discussion between them.
It was also nice to see the Mothers’ taking inspiration by copying aspects of the kid’s Study Center drawings, although it did raise some concerns that the mothers weren’t properly engaging with the spatial planning as much as we had hoped they would. At times it was frustrating with language barrier to understand what the mothers were drawing and then help explain to the mothers when they were confused. Luckily the Streetlight girls where full of energy to motivate the mothers and put them on the right track.
The two groups took very different approaches: one focused much more on the arrangement of the rooms, where the doors were and the circulation through the building, while the others focused much more on drawing the spaces inside each room and the qualities of the room. In some ways this was perfect as it allows the group to think very pragmatically and very emotionally at the same time.
The first group produced a much more Spartan drawing but also made some important changes, including entirely rearranging the central block containing the Tutors’ Office and Toilet, Storage for School Supplies, Library and Internet Corner based around the proximity to the Study Area and the varying degrees of privacy and accessibility needed. They also significantly reduced the size of the Food Store so that they could increase the size of the Study Area.
Afterwards we discussed with Nanays Annie, Marge, Rosie, Gina and Elena, who have been really engaged in the process throughout, about the possibility of them helping run the future workshops with us. They were all keen to be more involved and we arranged to meet them later in the week at the Barangay Hall.