Loom of Ideas

Authors: Joana Batista, Inês Almeida, Carlos Smaniotto Costa, Marluci Menezes

As a way to engage a higher number of students in a reflection on the use and quality of the space in front of the school, a visually attractive and interactive board – called Loom and Clothesline of Ideas (Figure 1).

Fig. 1. Loom of Ideas with collected answers. Photo C3Places Project (2019)

The Loom was developed to encourage a broad participation of students identifying spatial qualities and problems and stands in the school hall from May to July 2019. It had seven multiple choice questions displayed in columns (place of living, mode of transportation from home to school, frequency of public open space use for leisure, the activities performed, use of commercial places in free time and reason for it and use of smartphone).

A nail indicated the place for each possible answer. For each school grade different coloured woollen yarns hanged next to the questions (the school has grade 7 to 12). To provide their answer the students should wrap the yarn around the corresponding nail (altogether 56 answers were collected) (Figure 2).

Fig. 2. A student is contributing with some answers to the Loom. Photo C3Places Project (2019)

In the clothesline students could write down in cards comments, suggestions or ideas and hung them in the line (Figure 3).

Altogether 35 cards were collected. Two main issues raised from the cards: the request for more sitting facilities in the school yard and around the school, and the call for more outdoor activities.

Yet, placemaking can only make a direct contribution for the first issue, but on the flip side, when the outdoor conditions are more suitable, the second call – more outdoor activities – can be easier accomplished.

Fig. 3. Some ideas teenagers’ left in the Clothesline. Photo C3Places Project (2019).

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