YOUR CITY OUR CITY

With Right to Play and Jantje Beton we have written a project proposal for children in Rwanda & in The Netherlands, 21st century skills, namely independency, cooperation, creativity and entrepreneurship,  and empower them to make themselves heard and to have influence. THe project will run from 2017-2019.

10.000 children (5,000 in Rwanda, 5,000 in NL) will participate in 

a. guided play activities designed to increase resilience and self-confidence of the participating children (RCA)

b. Workshops in which children  evaluate their play environment, create and construct additional objects to improve their play environment.

c. Workshops in which children create and construct new play materials partly by using up-cycled materials . 

d. Internet based activities in which Children from Netherlands and Rwanda exchange ideas about their playground, their new play materials and the games they came up with

e. Activities in which children learn how they can make themselves heard in the local community

f. Activities in which children learn how they can make themselves heard towards local authorities

Amongst the exposed projects in The Egyptian pavilion at the Biennale 2016 in Venice, are two projects I have been collaborating in! The Egyptian pavillion shows various successful stories of architecture narrating the challenges inside the Egyptian built environment. The works inside the pavilion reveal how architecture is actively creating change in communities. 

Wonderful to see our upcycled tyre play elements (Geniena project) dangling above the pavillion symbolising the power of co-created play-spaces: creating change in communities!

  

Read more in Arch Daily  or in Domus Web or in Cairo Observer 

The municipality of Haarlem is working on a vision for the future of Haarlem. Commissioned by Haarlem city council, I am designing participation sessions to involve children in this process.

By creating their own 3 dimensional city from cardboard, children will discover the main elements and relevant issues for 'their city of the future'.

I will intervene in their 3D Haarlem 2040 by introducing diverse scenarios.

These scenarios will invite for discussion and challenge their imagination, leading to unconventional ideas. 

Cairo's public space is limited. Spaces open to public without entrance fees are hard to find in Cairo.

The majority of public space has been privatized.

True public spaces specially serving the needs of children are simply non-existent in Cairo.

The privileged Cairenes go to their clubs, but where can the vast majority of children play without having to pay?

This project proposal aims to raise awareness about the lack of true public playspace in Cairo, and to create mobilization of children and their communities to reclaim (small) urban spaces  for play. 

Sharing this project proposal with several local organizations resulted in very positive reactions. At the moment we are in the process of setting up partnerships and working on different cooperation projects. I am excited about the new opportunities unfolding from these contacts!

For more information or the full project proposal please contact me at info@yourcityourcity.com

There were no good nest swings in Egypt. Because of many advantages I find them unbearable for good playgrounds: they cover a wide age range – from toddler to teenagers-, they are wonderful for mentally or physically disabled children, they challenge and sooth at the same time, and they ask for social games.

But I wanted to avoid importing them. So I contacted El Alamein playground equipment factory based in Cairo, whom I convinced to take the challenge to produce a nest swing. With my ideas & advice and their knowledge they managed to take Egypt’s first high quality nest swing into production now!

Interactive search&find game (Arabic and English version) With MEGAWRA build environment collective 

This routing game is part of an extended project ATHAR-LINA, all about and in collaboration with Khalifa street in Islamic Cairo. Athar Lina is carried out by renovation architects from Megawra (built environment collective), made possible by The British Council and DEDI (Danish Egyptian Diologue Institute).

The search&find game, invites children to explore the street, its monuments, its inhabitants and its workshops. The game is designed as a treasure hunt, challenging children to interact with the street: children were counting, spotting, drawing, searching, smelling and asking questions. They had lots of fun while seeing the street in a different way. The game consists out of a full color double sided A3 - one Arabic and one English version -, it was launched on the opening day of Athar Lina phase 3, the game will be sold in local shops and monuments.

The project Athar-lina aims to to conserve monuments and reuse them and their surroundings for services needed by the community (health, education and child care). It aims to improve tourism in the neighbourhood, sharing the wealth of monuments such as Ibn Tulun Mosque, al-Sayyida Ruqayya Mausoleum and al-Ashraf Khalil Dome, buildings ranging from the 9th to the 14th century noted for their historical and religious importance. For more information visit http://www.atharlina.com/en

 

      

 

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a simple extremely popular play object, locally produced of recycled materials

Commissioned by the unhcr, in partnership with Takween, office for urban community development, we are designing a safe public meet&play area in Masaken Othman, an area with a high density of Syrian refugees, in 6th of October, West Cairo. The project aims to increase the level of peaceful co-existence, integration and  mutual acceptation between the local host community and the Syrian refugees in MO area through engaging members of these communities in the planning, design,  implementation, construction, and maintenance of the new public space. Therefor the design process includes participatory design sessions, to gain input for a safe and stimulating outdoor meet&play area which is inviting and accessible for all – especially women and children, regardless of their nationality. Besides these sessions Takween organized several public events in which both communities enjoyed performances and workshops in public space.

Commissioned by the unhcr, in partnership with Takween, office for urban community development, we are designing a safe public meet&play area in Masaken Othman, an area with a high density of Syrian refugees, in 6th of October, West Cairo. The project aims to increase the level of peaceful co-existence, integration and  mutual acceptation between the local host community and the Syrian refugees in MO area through engaging members of these communities in the planning, design,  implementation, construction, and maintenance of the new public space. Therefor the design process includes participatory design sessions, to gain input for a safe and stimulating outdoor meet&play area which is inviting and accessible for all – especially women and children, regardless of their nationality. Besides these sessions Takween organized several public events in which both communities enjoyed performances and workshops in public space.

The faculty of Architectuer from the German Unicersity in Cairo organised a summerschool in which 50 students improved the courtyards of two public primary school in Cairo. I gave a lecture about the basic design principles and pedagogical aspects of playground-design, it widened the students' view on designing for play....

Furthermore I suggested the use of rejected waste-pipes for the schoolyards. I found and visited a concrete factory which was willing to donate 6 rejected tubes, which now form beloved playing objects.