In partnership with Moreland Council, the students were invited to take part in a series of University of Melbourne workshops run by researchers and Moreland Council Landscape Architect Wendy Skala to learn how architecture and creativity can facilitate positive community and environmental change.
Stephen Lytton, the students’ teacher, says his students were heavily involved in the entire process, which dovetailed with their classroom learning.
“The kids all had an opportunity within that design process, to draw what they thought should be in the park, what materials might be used.”
The project incorporated aspects of STEAM, from the geometry of designing the park’s elements and the ecology of the local environment, to the Indigenous history of the area.
There was even an element of performing arts, when students put on a performance – complete with handmade costumes – for family and the wider community at Parktopia’s grand opening.
Lytton says the design part of the project in particular helped students to apply their maths to a real-life situation.
Students created the elements they wanted to see in the park, including a flying fox, basketball ring and murals, out of cardboard and reused materials.
Now that the workshops are over, the students are keen to continue their interaction with the park, Lytton says.
“They want the school to keep in contact with the council to find out what building stages [they] are up to...
“They want to take it further because they’re really taking ownership over it.”