Example of Community Design and Financing

Superhouse, a playground equipment was designed by Smetumet and prostoRož together with students of Primary School Savsko Naselje, children from Kindergarten Mladi Rod and children from University Rehabilitation Institute.

We wanted the playground equipment to be appropriate for all children, including those with special needs. We met with the children of primary school, kindergarten and University Rehabilitation Institute through workshops, where we studied their needs, wishes and abilities. Children were encouraged to design and draw the playground equipment they would like to have on the playground. All groups decided for a house: children from kindergarten designed a house for animals, the third grade students designed a house for superheroes and the eighth grade students designed a house for residents of Savsko Naselje. All their designs were combined into one: a Superhouse where children of all three generations can meet.

In the Superhouse stands an interactive sensory table, which is designed for all generations. It is designed to be appropriate also for children with special needs. The most important part of the workshops with children from three generations was that they learned about the differences and similarities between them. Students visited their peers from the University Rehabilitation Institute, listened to their stories and designed a playground equipment with them and for them. They saw the space through the needs of others and they started to think how to make the space as accessible as possible. Not only for themselves but also for their peers.

The designing and planning of the Superhouse was unusual, and so was its financing. The cost of construction was funded by local businesses. 15 local businesses put up posters and set up “piggy banks” on their counters, where they collected donations. Two local businesses contributed food and drink for a work action. One of the local businesses helped as a co-organizer of the event. This way, we collected one half of the 1,000 euros that were needed for construction. The other half was contributed Medex and insurance company Zavarovalnica Vzajemna.

We noticed that the visit of the playground increased. People now spend more time outside and take care of the space. The residents painted the table, organized painting workshops, they brought toys into the sandbox and they clean the space under the hammocks.

Within two years of work in public areas in Savsko Naselje we noticed a lot of problems due to unresolved ownership and unclear management strategy. In order to show the whole picture of this confused situation we started a special campaign as part of Mesec prostora 2015. You can see the results of our research here.

Savsko naselje neighbourhood, Ljubljana

Collaboration: 8a and 3b students of OŠ Savsko naselje primary school, URI Soča, Mladi Rod kindergarten children -unit Mavrica, local residents, Rok Terkaj, Smetumet, Olga Michalik, Špela Frlic

Supporters: City of Ljubjana, Creative Europe, Norwegian funding

Sponsors: Vzajemna, Medex, Gas station, Savske pekarne