On 1993 Finnish National Agency of Education created the basis for the curriculum of architecture education. That is when the schools of visual arts, music and dance got a new partner, a school of architecture. The curriculum of architecture education is divided in Early Studies, Basic Education in Visual Arts and Advanced Studies. The early studies are child & parent groups for 4 to 6 year-olds, basic education is directed to 7 to 14 year-olds and the advanced studies 14 to 19 year-olds.
Learning by experimenting and through fantasy projects
Arkki utilizes a wide range of methods, but emphasizes on 3D working methods. By building miniature models and also in 1:1 scale, children can make discoveries by themselves instead of being given answers by adults. The interplay of imagination and intelligence, and theory and experimentation are encouraged in project work. Learning occurs through play and carefully planned project work. Play is the means by which children explore the world and learn naturally. Through different activities Arkki wishes to light a spark in young people´s minds so that they want to influence and participate in the development of the built environment in the future, whatever their occupation is.
The teaching in Arkki is education of arts and environment. One of the main goals of architecture education is to give the children ways and capabilities to observe and evaluate their surroundings. In the Family Groups the aim is to help children start to form an interactive relationship with the environment. The education improves their sense of space, shape, motion and materials and structures.
By studying the built and the natural environment and by the help of personal building projects, Arkki’s goal is for the students to form an active emotional bond to their milieu. The architecture and environment education aims in raising responsible and aesthetically-oriented members of the society who have a large knowledge and understanding of the environment.
One of the missions of the teaching is that the students may have an impact to the values and the atmosphere of the society. Arkki spreads and preserves the visual and architectural culture legacy but also developes it.
The teaching is goal-oriented and aims in raising a long-term motivation to study. Studying in Arkki enables postgraduate studies in many schools of visual arts.
A wider long-term mission for Arkki is to encourage the co-operation between the schools of visual arts and other operators both nationally and internationally.
The main focus in the teaching is in letting the student discover and learn on their own by active, personal and three-dimensional building. Through play and study children found answers to the questions puzzling them. Experiments and feelings of success generate interest in children towards their surroundings. Sideshows and samples help to complete the learning experience.
It is important that the child gets to work as independently as possible. The parents role is to support and subtly help the child when needed and take into account the child’s way of interpreting the world.
It is not about the outcomes, it is about the process itself.
Arkki trusts in educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia approach. The learning experience is a communal journey which the children and adults share as equals. The huge potential of the children is believed in and and their creativity is nurtured and supported on mental, physical and social level.
The student has an active role in the studying and learning. The teaching is based on each age group’s own special way of viewing the world and experiencing things. The teaching supports the student’s growth and learning by focusing on the positive feelings of success the student’s experience. The skills of the students evolve steadily with the active support of the teachers and the learning opportunities which are modified ideal for each group. In Arkki we believe that the foundation to all learning is one’s own interest and desire to learn.
What makes Arkki’s teaching special is the focus on raising student’s own awareness. The student’s themselves ask the questions, explore the options and process the information, and find answers. The teaching developes the student’s ability to link their newly gained skills to previously absorbed conceptual structures.
The architecture education in Arkki supports the growth of children and youth as individuals and humans. Working in groups and the interaction between the grown-ups and the children helps the students to understand and appreciate differences and develop their skills of working in a group.
Arkki has built the student projects in a way that all can find an interesting and personal manner of an approach. Arkki values the children’s personal way of seeing things and the main focus is in active trying and doing, and finding the joy of discovering. The most important part is the learning process itself. There are no right or wrong answers, only different points of view.
By letting the children play and explore, they are not only led to find the answers to the matters puzzling them but also to create new questions and challenges for themselves to ponder upon. The imagination and creativity of the children are supported by pedagogic means.
”We do not see things as they are – we see things as we are”
The way we see the world and observe things depends on ourselves. By affecting person’s values and knowledge, one change the way they see the world.
This is where the meaning of architecture education truly stands out. Arkki’s education strengthens and stimulates the children’s senses and sense of space during the time when these are naturally developing. The child’s relationship with the environment is more direct and intuitive than that of a grown-up. The architecture education focuses on nurturing the children’s unique way of seeing and observing their surroundings.
The Student Works
Arkki School organizes exhibitions of the student works. The works are usually handed out to the students in the end of each term. The works from the exhibitions or courses have to be taken from the school when told. The school does not have space to store all the old student works.
The student works can be used by the school (for example in posters, information booklets, articles or web pages) before they are given to the students. The school has the right to store some works to its own exhibitions with the student´s permission. The students or their parents have the right to forbid the use of the student works in the school’s publications. There is a field in the enrollment form where one can give or deny the permission. When the permission is given once, it lasts until the end of the studies unless it´s cancelled.