School affects us all – from pupils and parents to teachers and politicians. Recent school reforms have demanded the creation of new spaces for small groups, individual learning, computer workspaces, lounges and dining areas which cater to the educational concepts and methods of the 21st century. Schooling can only support the transition from an industrial society to a knowledge society if schools become places where children take pleasure in learning. The “Klasse Schule” (literally “Super School”) exhibition presents contemporary school buildings from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, and in particular architectural concepts which either harmonize extremely well with regional building and living practices or took shape on a participative basis in consultation with learners and teachers.
Exhibits range from a one-classroom school on boats and an environmentally friendly school built using loam and bamboo to high-tech school buildings with (almost) no walls. 20 international examples built since the turn of the millennium are displayed alongside a number of historic school buildings including Walter Spickendorff’s Waldschule in Berlin, Arne Jacobsen’s Munkegårdskole in Gentofte, Hassan Fathy’s school in Fares, Decio Tozzi’s Escola Jardim Ipé near São Paulo and the Waldorf ensemble in Stuttgart.
The exhibition architecture was designed within the framework of an international, multi-university project which saw IMIAD students cooperate with the IFA Galerie in Stuttgart. Content is classified on the basis of a denominator every school in the world has in common: All schoolchildren learn the alphabet. The exhibition space is therefore divided into 26 individual cabinets in the manner of a card box. The cabinets are each given a title such as “A is for Ant” or “N is for Numbers” and arranged in alphabetical order. Each cabinet uses a variety of objects and media to explain the school in question. The alphabetical classification of the cabinets makes it possible to both highlight and compare concepts and specific architectural features. The frame used to create the self-supporting cabinets was cut out of cardboard and folded.
View of the exhibition room
Cabinet for the letter “F is for Fluss [river] and Floß [raft]”, a floating school in Morocco