Room for Kids is
an eye-opening forum for us to share helpful tips from the work we
provide to various early education organizations. As a
multi-disciplinary architecture and design firm, RDG understands that
each space for children has different needs, and within this newsletter
you will find that we continuously work to provide the best services
that reach across the early education spectrum.
Inspiring a child to become engaged in their educational
program is essential for success. This engagement in learning is vital
to the development of children especially in the earliest years of their
life. A child’s interaction can be cultivated in several ways,
but the influence of their surrounding environment can be a partner for
success. A nurturing environment provides a response to four
fundamental needs of young children: movement, comfort, competence and
control. Providing for the combination of these attributes encourages
confidence in children, willing them to participate in the program and
with their classmates. There are key design and furnishing
considerations that can help to ensure you are responding to all four of
these needs in your center.
Read the Article: Engaging Early Learning Interiors, By RDG Planning & Design’s Ed Buglewicz.
On the Boards: Educare of Winnebago
Educare's most recent neighborhood of influence is
happening in the humble culture and community of the Winnebago tribe.
Our Early Education team immersed themselves with the Ho-Chunk people,
culture and history through books, museums and most importantly
listening to the community and elders. These experiences helped us
develop a design concept that is sensitive and reflective of their
community and culture. Through this discovery two influential themes
emerged: path and earth.
Path signifies the Winnebago tribe’s split from the other
Siouan tribes (off the Wisconsin coast of Lake Michigan) and
began their path as a single tribe. Through their path the tribe began
to refine their customs, speech, music, storytelling, and maxims, all
which make Winnebago what it is today. Along this path the Earth theme
is cultivated, as a respect and dependence on the earth became vital to
the existence of the Ho-Chunk people. Their history can be seen through
the earthwork that they sculpted along their path. The three types of
earthwork were the conical mound, linear mound and effigy mound.
These themes of earth and path evolved into a concept specific to the Educare Winnebago project: Earth//Path : Nurture through Nature.
The development and nurturing of the child is the focus of both the
early education program and its built environment. Through this
importance of earth and path, nature becomes an element in which
the architecture is defined and program is delineated. A path through
the site and building is defined by nature and framed through the
architecture. The extrusion of earth and earth manipulation sites the
building in nature and its’ surroundings.
The planning of the Educare School carefully considers
the approach to the school and its placement is purposefully engaged
with the earth. Surrounded by sculpted earthwork the pathway processes
through the site to a compressed entry and leads individuals into a
welcoming and naturally-illuminated atrium of the building. The
atrium becomes the communal hearth with cultural artwork will represent
the tribe and culture.
Team Member Spotlight
Cary Thomsen is a Landscape Architect with the Early
Education team at RDG. He creates outdoor environments that foster the
relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces. The outdoor environments
he designs are based on natural elements and connecting those elements
with the design concept of the building. During his childhood, he would
help his parents plant a vegetable garden in the backyard every year.
One year he planted rows of sweet corn. He did this because he played
baseball in the backyard and wanted to emulate the baseball field he saw
in the movie Field of Dreams. “I guess this was my first experience in
landscape architecture, creating an outdoor environment from a concept.”
Cary has a Bachelors degree in Horticulture from the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln and a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from
Kansas State University. In Cary’s free time he enjoys golfing, running,
drawing and the outdoors.
Cary worked on Educare Winnebago, as well as Educare of Washington DC.
What do you think?
POLL: What is your perspective on the direct sunlight that shines into your classroom?
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UPCOMING ISSUE: In our spring issue of Room For Kids we will explore ways to engage young minds in a Green, sustainable environment.
2012 NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo
November 7-10, Atlanta, GA; RDG booth #1651 - Come see us!
Zero to Three—National Training Institute: Leading Edge Early Childhood Science, Policy and Practice
November 28-December 1, Los Angeles, CA
Chicago Metro AEYC Opening Minds Conference—Teach more, Teach Less
January 23-26, 2013, Chicago, IL
Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference 2013
March 1-2, 2013, Denver, CO
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