How to get to Chautauqua
One in ten Austrian citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 has completed only compulsory school, and 27.5% cannot read properly. In 2014 about 2,000 unaccompanied minors arrived in Austria. In 2016 the city of Vienna will start a so-called »Jugendcollege« to make Austrian school accessible for young refugees. All of these adolescents hope for a fair chance, but the Austrian education system is known for its conservative structures, which tend to reproduce educational injustice. Instead, people rely on private initiatives. Numerous innovative approaches, interesting developments and private initiatives in education seem to be confined to the educated middle classes.
The future of our society depends essentially on how intelligently the young generations will meet the challenges of our time. What shape does our educational landscape have to take to provide the breeding ground for future inspiration?
Alternative education programs for young adults had a long history in the 20th century: The US-American Chautauqua education movement founded in the late 19th century was at first manifested in a mobile structure of tents travelling through rural areas. Chautauqua camps offered lectures on art, music and current issues, nondenominational preaching and leisure. To this day, the Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit adult education center and summer resort, and several independent Chautauquas are still held, following the original idea to support educated cosmopolitan citizenship. Against the background of globalization and migration, such a programs have again become very relevant, and even in Vienna, initiatives like EFFIE, the »Experimental Fun Festival for Innovative Education«, are currently exploring the potential of experimentation and performance for education.
The goal of this studio is to explore what architecture can contribute to creating similar spaces of shelter, education and discourse. How can these places of education support social and spatial integration and create educational landscapes for a rapidly growing city like Vienna? The landscape principle can provide a model of a network structure by creating a three-dimensional material design that can cultivate diversity and support symbiotic processes.
The site of Copa Cagrana, a popular recreation area since the 1980s, is currently undergoing transformation. This area is neighbouring the commercialized grounds of Donau-City was recently »reorganized« by the city of Vienna with a subtext of homogenization. In spite of this current development, the potential of this site could be to continue its role of mediating between Vienna’s citizens with diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. As the master plan for Donau- City even provides for an educational institution nearby, this could be the perfect spot to cluster educational initiatives, low-cost student dwelling and leisure facilities – fostering the established as well as cultivating the ephemeral and improvised – within the framework of a landscape park.
Institution: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Semester: Summer 2016
Titel der Arbeit: How to get to Chautauqua
BetreuerIn: Kathrin Aste, Antje Lehn