Space as Added Educator: Rethinking Early Childhood Development in Emergency Contexts

Friday 19 February 2016, 10.30 – 15.30, Room 802, 20 Bedford Way, UCL Institute of Education, London

‘Space as Added Educator: Rethinking Early Childhood Development in Emergency Contexts’ – Nerea Amoros Elorduy, Architect & PhD Student, The Bartlett, UCL

In this free one day workshop, we will ask participants to think about the impact of space in early childhood stimulation, and its potential contribution to the improved design, planning and delivery of Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives in emergency and protracted crisis contexts, whilst also considering how to proceed through these stages in a way that empowers the communities they serve. The workshop will be led by Nerea Amoros Elorduy, Architect and PhD student at The Bartlett and hosted by the Network for Research in Education, Conflict and Emergencies at the UCL Institute of Education

The day will be made up of three interrelated sessions, building participants’ abilities to think and plan for an improved ECD response that engages local communities. Firstly, we’ll look at how space acts as stimulation historically and worldwide, and specifically in emergency and relief sectors and in contexts of post-traumatic stress. Secondly, at how to engage communities in the design and construction of ECD responses, ranging from the possible types of participation, the level of their involvement, to how to work through the different phases of design and delivery. Finally, we bring learning from these two sessions to bear as we work together to develop our own plans for a participatory led process of ECD implementation through the use of case studies from refugee camps in East Africa.

Each of the three sessions will have an introduction to the topic, followed by group activities and short presentations, and discussion around what messages have been picked up and how we employ them in our work. Participants might find it useful to bring laptops as a tool to work through these exercises, and should be prepared for a fun and lively workshop in which their contributions are highly valued. Networking and building relationships with other participants will be strongly encouraged. Your feedback on how the seminar runs and your learning experience within it will also be greatly appreciated.

Lunch and refreshments are NOT provided, so please bring your own. There are various places around Russell Square to pick up something to eat. Places are limited so please let us know if for any reason you cannot make it on they day.

We look forward to meeting you!

Nerea Amoros Elorduy is a Barcelona trained architect, who was co-founder of ASA (Active Social Architecture) a practice based in Kigali, Rwanda, looking at the improvement of education and health facilities in rural communities and refugee camps, has experience working with the NGO Africa Nos Mira improving education facilities in Tigray, Ethiopia and with UNICEF Rwanda researching the impact of space in early childhood stimulation. Nerea was also instrumental in the creation of the first School of Architecture at the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, now the University of Rwanda, where she also taught.

Nerea trained to be an architect at the Escola Tecnica Superior D’Arquitectura de Barcelona, holds a Masters in International Co-operation: Sustainable Emergency Architecture from the School of Architecture at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, and is currently a PhD student at The Bartlett, UCL, in the School of Architecture and the Development Planning Unit. Her research intends to understand the potential that space and moreover the process of space making has in development and education of communities. The research hypothesizes the role of architects and architecture in breaking vulnerability cycles through community empowerment and stimulation, focusing on the role of African schools and young architects.

Anna Wilson, who coordinates the activities of the Network for Research in Education, Conflict and Emergencies, will be supporting Nerea in facilitating the workshop. Anna has worked in education in humanitarian response, and has many years experience running community engagement projects in the UK. More recently, she has been working as part of a research team on a UNICEF project looking at early years and peacebuilding in conflict and post conflict countries. She is completing an MA in Education and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education, and currently collaborating with a community in rural northern Ethiopia to extend their primary school and build an ECD centre.

Please register for free at our Eventbrite site

For more information please contact Dr Pherali (

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