The Learning Community – Auroville
TLC aims is to create spaces where children and adults, by living and learning together, can grow more conscious.
The Learning Community is a new educational project in Auroville, initiated in December 2008 by few adults whose aspiration was to explore other ways of learning. After 6 months of preparation, TLC started in July 2009 with 7 children between 6 and 10 years old. With a steady growth TLC now has 25 children.
Through an alternative approach towards education TLC attempts to find ways for implementing the concept of Integral Education as defined by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, where each part of the being is helped to blossom integrally and where ultimately the soul becomes the leader of one’s life and growth.
Seeing Auroville as a place where children and adults have access to a great variety of different environments, TLC sees the community of Auroville as a school in itself and by the exposure to these different environments, children will naturally engage in a process of learning, develop faculties, and will be able to create their own conditions for growth and happiness. Striving towards experiencing Auroville as a learning field and open the doors of the classrooms into the wider community, it is of vital importance to reflect this ideology into the structure TLC will use as it’s classroom.
The current campus is very sparse with no structure that can house material for this purpose, therefore TLC required a structure that supports their spacial need with flexibility in space, function and if required even location.
The process of this project was absolutely integrated, as TLC, Johnny, the parents and kids and us all came together to create exactly what was needed. The initial idea for the structure of their new building was based on Johnny’s capsule (initially developed for temporary housing). Build on pre-cast R.C.C.-footings the structure is made of steel, to assure easy assembly and dismantling. Walls feature louvres out of recycled wood and wattle and daub panels.
Through shifting of two capsules against each other we created a large hall, with a double height centre. Two individual rooms function as extensions of the central space with the possibility of closing it up for more peaceful, quiet activities. Above these ‘units’ we provide ample space for a material storage and a small office for school related administrative purposes. The upper spaces have a visual connection into the ground floor. The entire building is open and maximises natural ventilation, while large overhangs shade the building from the harsh sun of South India, creating comfortable, but open spaces for interaction and learning.
SAIIER (SriAurobindo Institution for Integral Education and Research) has given the required funds for this project and the execution will start soon…