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The child in the city

[VENICE BIENNALE 2010] Collaborator: Lottie Child, an artist working with teachers and pupils from Venice’s schools and founder of streettraining.org

Venice has very few playgrounds, but that doesn’t bother the children for whom the whole city is one, from the buckets of chalk in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo and the many obstacles to climb on and hide behind.

In the months leading up to the biennale, Muf and artist Lottie Child documented children’s playful use of the city. The subsequent research will be adapted and developed into a Street Training guide for Venice, and then published in the exhibition catalogue, released in volumes throughout the pavilion’s three-month opening.

According to Muf, research from Venice is already feeding into its High Street 2012 projects for the London Olympics - for instance, when designing for the presence of children on the street.

Another child-focused programme arranged by Muf included free drawing workshops at the Stadium of Close Looking (see page 28), a boon for the many Venetian schools currently struggling with fierce budget cuts.

At the base of the pavilion is a large paddling pool, with nearby steps becoming seats for watchful parents.

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