Human-made climate change has a real and incalculable impact on today’s ecosystem as it deprives many living beings of their livelihood. The irony is, however, that we are very well aware of our doings. The only way out of the crisis, it can be assumed, lies therefore in a new culture that introduces a more humble and sensitive understanding of our position in and approach to the natural world around us.
In 2016/2017 a permaculture gardening program for children was developed and then implemented in collaboration with the education center “Haus der Familie” in South Tyrol. A total of two five-day courses offered 25 children between 7 and 12 the opportunity to explore the wonders and mysteries of the garden.
The project is divided into four phases: search for partners and funding, preparation and development of outputs, the implementation of the course and the reflection of the work. As part of “Research Through Design” the courses act as prototypes and thereby as a base for scientific investigation.
A garden space was designed and prepared in the spring of 2017 on the grounds of the education center. Meanwhile, an overall framework was developed including a set of contents relating to gardening and permaculture, which were then divided into thematic modules as e.g. mulching, soil or seeds. Additionally, learning and working materials were created in order to equip the children with basic knowledge about the respective subject. In a second step, the modules were expanded on a practical basis through inclusive actions and stimulating games. In order to create additional local reference, guests were invited to the courses.
The aim was to allow the kids a joyful and interesting learning experience accompanied by various stakeholders from the area and to provide them not primarily with new knowledge, but rather with numerous resources and starting points to explore their own interests and strengths. The close contact with nature, the initiation of small projects and thus the assumption of tasks and responsibility in the garden contributed to a more considerate and conscious interaction of the children with nature and living beings — and thereby propelled eco-social transformation.
The preparational efforts for such a camp are high and hardly make up for the implementation of a few weeks of vacation camp. Also, it would make great sense to introduce a long-term course, giving the children the chance to witness and accompany a garden year-round. That way processes are better understood, and children can gain a higher identification with the garden. wildbunt could even be incorporated in a school context as an extracurricular program to give kids a hands-on opportunity for learning.
For now, the project is on hold as a solid foundation (stakeholder, funding partners etc.) has not yet been found. In order to continue with wildbunt we are in need of proactive, reliable and creative minds, who believe in the potential of new ways to learn and the importance of a new way to live! If you’re one of them: let’s hear from you!
Context: M.A. thesis, November 2016 – September 2017
Extent: Branding, Illustrations, ConCept, Working Materials, Communication Media, Website, Video
University: Free University of Bolzano, Italy
Tasks: Idea, Concept, Layout, Design, Research, Implementation