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2013 07 17-20: Želva - The diary of Travelling Architecture Workshop | 7

JUL 2013

Summer moved into the second half and Traveling Architecture Workshop arrived in the seventh town – Želva.


Traditionally, the workshop began by building the hexagonal workshop tent. It arose in the meadow in front of the cultural center of the town with the active participation of all gathered children. The children held a tour for volunteers and presented their village Želva. They showed the most important objects and places of the town - the church, the fire department, the old Jewish quarter and the former synagogue, the school stadium and playground called "underground", where they would spend most of the free time. Together with children, we shared knowledge on how to recognize the shape of the roof of a Jewish home, noticed other differences.


The first workshop day started early in the morning with 28 children. So with such a large a group of active, curious young village residents we started to talk about their work, leisure, hobbies, favorite public spaces. After a small discussion in groups children presented the first results – illustrations of their beloved sites or games, lists of what activities is missing in the village. 


All together we voted and decided that the best place to improve would be an existing playground called „underground“. A few ideas were born, which we decided to implement after diving into groups. The decision was to fix existing swings, to improve playground with new game painted on the existing paving and to create a climbing wall from ropes and new seating in the playground. So the first day of the workshop was dedicated for creating projects, searching for materials and cleaning the playground from the grass. The second day was devoted for implementing the projects.


Although on both projects days it was raining and we had to hide in our huge tent along with all the materials for the projects, it did not stop us to continue to work, but only encouraged us to be closer to each other. We have learned to adapt to changing conditions.


From all the works children have put preference to painting, drilling and making knots for climbing wall. While such works as drilling or grinding required considerable physical effort and knots knotting required thoroughness and diligence, this did not discouraged children from active participation in the whole process. The endless desire to act together even in the most serious work was evident. The locals were very welcoming with help to find material for projects and sharing everything - from a good mood to food and shower.


After finishing the work the objects were presented to the community in a workshop closing event. The children wanted to admire the progress made so the most eager participants tried swings, climbing wall and new amphitheater seating. The local traditional music band adorned the closing event. The volunteers and children together were dancing on the stadium meadow.


"Will you arrive next year?" - The children were asking. The green project van with materials hit to another workshop, leaving nobody of town residents indifferent. We hope we succeeded to transfer the most important message of „Traveling architectural workshop“, that the children themselves can be the creators of their environment and initiators of changes.


Želva (Umerge district)

July 17-20, 2013.



RESULT: basketball playground was cleaned; new game was painted on the playground pavement; amphitheater with seats and a table with a chess board were built on a slope; climbing wall from ropes was created; three swings were fixed and renewed.

VOLUNTEERS TEAM: Sigita Simona Paplauskaitė (curator), Ieva Saldauskaitė, Vincentas Vienožinskis, Sandra Šlepikaitė, Margarita Pantelejeva, Gilma Gylytė, Edgaras Glušnevas, Justina Šerpetauskytė, Elena Vienožinskytė, Dalia Vienožinskytė.

LOCAL ORDINATION: Želva high school religion teacher Lina Monkevičienė

PARTICIPANTS: 30 children and youth from Želva, Žemaitkiemis and beyond.

"Travelling Architecture Workshop" - the first large-scale project by "Architecture [Children] Fund, which took place in 2013 during the summer holidays. It aims to draw children and village residents attention to the everyday human environment. The project seeks to demonstrate that to take care of the public environment and to foster real changes could be done without a lot of material and human resources.




"Architecture [Children] Fund is a volunteering based initiative that develops and implements educational programs for children and youth about architecture and living enviroment.