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The Sustainable City | FabLab

The Sustainable City

PROF.CONCETTA DI NOTO

The Sustainable City

The city in transition: from unsustainable to sustainable.

I.I.S. Vincenzo Ragusa E Otama Kiyohara, Palermo – Italy

Introduction  This project is about designing objects in public (green) spaces to create a (more) sustainable city.  The objects designed should not only be made of sustainable materials, but also contribute to a growing awareness and education on sustainability in the city.

The project starts with the theme of “overpopulation and the unlivable condition of the city”. The field study will consists of self-reflection, interviews in the street with tourist and locals on the pros and cons of the city, and a review of chosen literature. The students will reflect on what does not work in today’s world and why. In order to have different opinions and alternative solutions that might not be shared by the economic market, the students will read extra literature, such as the book “invisible cities” from Italo Calvino, watch selected documentaries and will have a debate in order to stimulate their interests and motivate their choices. This coincides with a research carried out at the same time on sustainable and recycled materials. The main question then follows for the students: “How can you can contribute?” During the ideation phase different ideas will be put forward, shared and chosen, which in turn will be executed as prototypes during the fabrication phase, leading to a scale-model of a park.

Theme: Transition from non-sustainable to sustainable toys to furnish a city’s playground

Age of students: 15-16 years old

Related subjects: Italian, Geo-history, Design and planning

Pre-knowledge  
Learning goals

● Social skills

(21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge

(theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

GOAL 1)  Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)

GOAL 2)  Evaluate information critically and competently

GOAL 3)  Develop critical thinking through problem solving and  peer collaboration

GOAL 4)  Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

GOAL 5)  Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

GOAL 6)  Increase sustainability in our PARKS

Time 21 hours, 6 classes.
Assessment Class presentation

Oral interview

Written reports

Designs produced

Products of fabrication

Observation of the team work and of the individual work

Surveys

Resources and materials 2 teachers

wood lab

internet

The book “Le Città Invisibili” by Italo Calvino

2030 agenda of UN goals

wood, cardboard, traditional tools

 

Lesson 1

Introduction Overpopulation in the world and its effects

Overpopulation in the city seen by Italo Calvino

Time 4  hours
Phase of the DBL model Design brief
Lesson goals/design output [to be filled in]
Activity Reading of the book: “Le Città Invisibili” by Italo Calvino, analysis and discussion in group work.
Materials The book “Le città Invisibili”
Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

-Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)

-Evaluate information critically and competently

-Develop critical thinking through problem solving and  peer collaboration

Extra “Le Città Invisibili” by Italo Calvino
Expert tips  

 

Lesson 2 

Introduction Sustainable toys

Sustainable materials

Time 4 hours
Phase of the DBL model Field Study
Lesson goals/design output After this lesson, the students have ideas about sustainable materials to use for the design of sustainable toys
Activity The students are given concrete examples of sustainable toys, some suggested by the teacher, others found by the students themselves on the net. They  highlight the elements that make them sustainable.

Students interview people in the street to ask their opinions about their favourite toys and those they imagine inserted in city parks.

Materials: (overview of what materials needs  (also think of powerpoints etc) Internet, google drive platform

smart phone or dictaphone for registering interviews

pens and paper to write down answers and research findings

Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

-Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)

-Evaluate information critically and competently

-Develop critical thinking through problem solving and  peer collaboration

-Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

-Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

-Learn how to interview people

Extra  
Expert tips  

 

Lesson3

Introduction Brainstorming phase where students launch project ideas in free flow.
Time 3 hours
DBL phase model Ideation
Lesson Goals / results Design Reflect on the concept of sustainability

Put ideas together

Reach agreements

Activity The students are grouped together, each group elaborates project ideas.

Inspired by “Le Città Invisibili”, the students decide to develop ideas to fabricate toys to put in a city park.

The groups decided to create:

a book at child height, each page is browsable and contains a fairytale; a turtle bench; a dinosaur to ride; a mushroom house and  a tower-shaped slide.

Materials Paper, pens, colours, etc.
Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

Develop critical thinking through problem solving and  peer collaboration

-Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

-Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

-Increase sustainability in our PARKS

-Learn how to create objects using different materials

Extra  
Expert Advice  

 

Lesson 4

Introduction Sustainable toys
Time 6 hours
DBL phase model fabrication
Lesson Goals / results Design After this lesson, the students will be able to give shape (3D) to the words of a book through fabrication
Activity The students will fabricate with recycled materials their ideas for the playground. The ideas are fabricated in small format.
Materials Most materials are recycled: wood, wood sawdust, natural resins, colors, cardboard, clay, tools to work with the wood and clay, scissors.
Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

-Develop critical thinking through problem solving and peer collaboration

-Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

-Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

-Create sustainable toys

Extra  
Expert Advice  

 

Lesson5

Introduction Sustainable toys
Time 2 Hours
DBL phase model Argumentation
Lesson Goals / results Design after this lesson, the students will be able to argue and present the parallels between the fabricated products and the passages from the book.
Activity Students will present in front of their colleagues their products. They will compare and argue for their choices and relate it back to the passages of the book
Materials The toys and the book “Le Città Invisibili”
Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

-Develop critical thinking through problem solving and  peer collaboration

-Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

-Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

– increase presentation skills

Extra  
Expert Advice  

 

Lesson 6

Introduction Sustainable toys
Time 2 Hours
DBL phase model Reflection
Lesson Goals / results Design after this lesson, the students will be able to highlight the positive and critical aspects of the project and of their personal objects, through means of comparision
Activity Free expression of personal impressions on all the projects carried out.

Identification of the critical issues that can be resolved with possible changes to be made.

Materials The fabricated products and the book “Le Città Invisibili”
Learning goals

● Social skills (21st century

skills?)

● Knowledge (theoretical

knowledge)

● practical skills

 

-Develop critical thinking through problem solving and peer collaboration

-Increase sustainability of the living space in our community

-Create a methodology for the transition from unsustainable to sustainable

– Gain expository and argumentative skills

Extra