The new studio space for the Arlitt Center gives a permanent home to the core element of their Reggio-inspired curriculum. The pedagogy is child-centered, with the subject matter and specific learning activities growing out of the interests and passions of the children. The primary method of exploration is through preliterate “languages” - painting, sculpture, movement, etc.
The project consists of a resource area (to be used by students AND teachers), a work-zone, and the “tree”, which contains a darkened space for light/shadow work and a “nest” with a view to the outside. Materials are artfully displayed at child-height to emphasize their inherent beauty. An AR app allowed the children and teachers to react (and contribute) to the design.
The limited budget ($17,000) necessitated minimizing hand-work so a streamlined digital work-flow was implemented, converting the model into cad drawings which served as CNC cut-files laid out on 4x8 sheets with the assistance of an optimization algorithm. A 1”=1’-0” scale model was constructed to test the files and served as a 3-d shop-drawing during assembly. Prefinished plywood was used wherever possible to limit the amount of finishing required. Installation was by a mixture of professional and volunteer labor.