The New National Museum of Monaco and the Directorate of National Education, Youth and Sports of the Principality, with the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, invited the smarin studio to experiment with a new form of teaching through a project entitled: “Écoletopia.”

Designed by the smarin studio in 2022 for the exhibition “The Art of Learning, a School of Creators” at the Center Pompidou Metz, the system was deployed for the first time within a school, in Monaco.

“Écoletopia” took place in a classroom at Saint-Charles school from September to the end of February. In the words of a Government press release, CM1 students and their teacher evolved in a total environment, the main objectives of which were: the mobilisation of attention, collective intelligence, the exercise of sensitivity and body awareness.

The device, each part of which is made from pure and untreated materials, chosen with the greatest care for their natural qualities, was accompanied by a series of conversations and practical workshops led by smarin, during which the children were able to become aware of the importance of their posture and their mobility in class, of the role of the collective in numerous activities, and even of the importance of time for sensitive practices in the acquisition of knowledge.

“In addition, the smarin studio being particularly engaged in research into the invention of objects that limit their impact on the human body and the ecosystem, children were regularly made aware of the ecological footprint of materials in architecture and design. This experience was widely acclaimed by the students and teaching team at Saint-Charles school. Practicing sensory exploration activities allowed children to develop their ability to concentrate and create meaning in the acquisition of the expected skills.

“The entire system encouraged the implementation of cooperative practices in the organisation of the class group (work plan, activities offered in the form of workshops, tutoring). The total environment offered, helping to “work together”, had a positive influence on all learning in the different disciplinary fields,” the Government said.

ORIGINAL SOURCE & PHOTO: Monaco Government Press Service