Using parks and open space to educate takes on new meaning with Bookworm, a program in India that puts public 'bookscapes' in greenspaces to encourage children to enjoy reading.
For their latest work, design studio NUDES is using architecture to tackle the issue of illiteracy in India. The project, aptly titled Bookworm, takes the form of a deployable pavilion that has been erected on a site in Mumbai. Designed to create an interactive learning space, the main concept behind the intervention is to encourage children to enjoy reading, inline with the UN’s sustainable development goal for “all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, to achieve literacy and numeracy” by 2030.
The Bookworm measures 36.5m long and 12m wide. The pavilion takes on a low, winding shape that is designed by NUDES to create a welcoming space as opposed to traditional libraries or institutional buildings that may be intimating to young children. The intervention includes areas for sitting and storytelling and can house approximately 12,000 books, which have been donated by several schools across the city. In short, the ‘bookscape’ intends to make reading a fun and enjoyable activity, inviting kids to simultaneously explore and learn.
With the idea to spread a message of “empowerment through education”, NUDES has designed the Bookworm to travel across India, in both rural and urban areas. The structure is built using 3600 modular pre-fabricated components, meaning that it can be easily dismantled, transported and reassembled on different sites. Deployed onsite within a week, the pavilion also boasts a low carbon footprint and promotes sustainable building technologies.
This project has been realised to address the startling number of people that still lack basic reading and writing skills across the world, and especially in sub-saharan Africa and southern Asia. Proven to help improve health, reduce crime and alleviate poverty, boosting literacy rates marks an important step in providing better opportunities to all. NUDES’ Bookworm has been supported by Priyasri art gallery in collaboration with the CSMVS museum in affiliation with the children’s museum CSMVS. The pavilion will remain on site at the museum lawns in Mumbai through December 2019 before traveling all over India, from cities to rural areas.
Images Sameer Chawda via Designboom