Panel j.08 — The right to a fair space for education: an interdisciplinary approach between pedagogy, architecture and design

Convenors Beate Christine Weyland (Libera Università di Bolzano, Italy); Simona Galateo (Libera Università di Bolzano, Italy); Bruna Sigillo (Libera Università di Bolzano, Italy)

Keywords pedagogy, architecture, learning environments, nature, justice, children’s rights


The social condition in which we find ourselves today shows all the fragilities of contemporary society in terms of social justice, which manifest themselves in forms of inequalities within the built fabric of our cities (Fainstein, 2011; Harvey, 2016; Foster, Iaone, 2022), particularly in educational environments.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child promotes concepts such as the right to play, free expression, and culture, especially following the implementation processes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Convention, 1989; Concluding Observations, 2019), with the specific request to ensure the active participation of minors in the design of educational programs. All rights often find no place in ministerial teaching programs, but they nevertheless have reason to exist and are fundamental for the growth of each individual and the improvement of the social and spatial conditions of educational environments. Making these rights accessible is the goal of activists, researchers, and academics who explore solutions and programs for a more just and inclusive education.

The EDEN (Educational Environments with Nature) research laboratory at the Faculty of Education of the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, as an all-round interdisciplinary platform, has long adopted and stimulated an open approach in promoting educational contexts that are more inclusive and respectful of the rights of children and young people. Through direct and concrete actions in the places of education, and with schools, understood as cultural pillars on the territory, the aim is to respond in a more comprehensive and articulated way to the need to ensure conditions of accessibility, sharing, and inclusion (Davoudi, Bell, 2016). The constant dialogue between the sciences of education and the sciences of architectural design places the research in a multi-scalar perspective from the city to the building to the object, to the plants as educating subjects (Weyland 2022). The aim is to create accessible educational landscapes, in informal, resilient and just places that can stimulate the potential of all children and young people (Munari 2010, De Carlo 2013, Attia, Weyland, Bellenzier, Prey 2018).

The call for abstracts intends to share EDENlab’s approach and to welcome contributions from those who are developing theoretical and empirical research and actions with the aim of making educational places accessible, shared, and inclusive. A call with a European scope is being developed in dialogue with colleagues who have been working in this interdisciplinary field for years, such as Christian Kuhn and Karin Harather, TU Vienna, Ulrike Stadler Altmann, Humboldt Berlin University, Giusi Canella and Leonardo Tosi, INDIRE, Valentina Conte, Fondazione Reggio Children, Raffaella Perrone, IED Barcelona. Linking the different fields of the human sciences with architecture and design, the different proposals will illustrate experiences on a European scale aimed at restoring justice to the world of education. This is an opportunity to build a network of new references, and innovative and sensitive tools with the common aim of generating more just and democratic educational spaces. In this research-action principle, pedagogy wants to be the hinge of the proposal through which each intervention is interpreted.


Guidelines and abstracts submission