Following the Sustainabili…really? workshop, some of the attending pupils contacted us for advice on setting up their own informal classroom, within their college. The director of Spiru Haret National College had granted them permission to use a hall in the semi-basement, in close proximity to the college newspaper office and theatre/sculpture studio.
Cristian Lupescu and Luciano Panaitescu pushed through for a space where any and all college mates could meet, gather, do their homework together, discuss, debate, learn, play, organise workshops, one that would serve all purposes of an educational hub, their very own The Change Hub. Together we set up a more comfortable, friendly and open place, with areas for talks and work, a tea making spot, a play station niche, sills and boxes for their laptops and schoolbooks. Most importantly, the new setting would bring equality in their dialogues and learning experience, while also giving pupils the sense of belonging and responsibility for its use and maintenance. We replaced the fixed benches with chairs, puffs and a soft carpet to sit on, allowing the kids to set their own degree of informality accordingly. The back of the hall, with its pillars and niches, was turned into laptop, message boards and one-on-one talks area, the blackboard was replaced with magnetic paint, and a stylish sink took the place of the technical cupboard in the corner of the room.
The first phase of the project was carried out by the pupils themselves during their summer holidays. They handled sponsorships, pitches, approvals, all on their own. The Change has come, and this 14 to 17 year old generation is hands-on and fully determined to better its environment.