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Reimagining Space for Belonging and Celebration: A Socially Engaged Art Project

April 25, 2018 01:39 PM
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Proviso East Students Visit Perkins+Will
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For the past three academic quarters, Proviso East Fine Arts and World Languages Department Chair, Mrs. LaPorte has been leading drawing and painting classes that have been participating in a socially engaging art project to reimagine the old, unused girl’s pool into a new space for student use. The project required students to shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present day life by using a contemporary practice of art and design.
 
After gathering data and getting input from their peers, the art students prepared their research and discovered that their fellow students indeed desired a place to relax and socialize during the school day. They then collaboratively designed functional and aesthetically engaging foam core concept models. The models showcased survey information acquired during their research and were designed to meet students’ needs.
 
On February 28, 2018, the students presented their concept models to Proviso East staff, administration and industry architects from Perkins + Will, who are the leading architects for D209’s Facility Master Plan. The event began with a summary of the project, proceeded by a tour of the pool space and ended with students collaboratively presenting their models and answering questions from the audience. When interviewed about what would be included in the student space, student presenters described the features of their designs: a movie viewing area, ping-pong tables, air hockey table, storage lockers, bean bags, areas to listen to music, cellphone charging stations and places to relax. The students felt that the features included in the design would create a safe and inclusive student space that would enhance the educational experience of all Proviso East students.  
 
According to Mrs. LaPorte, the students enjoyed working together on the design, valued the feedback they received from the architects, and felt proud of their work, but most of all, the students felt empowered by the opportunity to present to the architects their ideas on how their school’s physical space can be better utilized to meet their needs.
 
The Proviso East art students who participated in the Reimagining Space Project also had the pleasure to visit Perkins+Will on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The students toured their offices and spent time in their communal space learning about the firm and the various responsibilities of architects.
 
Ms. LaPorte and Proviso East students thank Mr. Michael Dolter and Mrs. Jessica Wagner from Perkins+Will for empowering D209 students!
 
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