The New Patrons of Potsdam

Patrons: Teachers of Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium in Potsdam

Mediator: Gerrit Gohlke

Artist: tba

Duration: 2018–ongoing

Partners: BKV Potsdam e.V.


How would pupils design their schools if they themselves were responsible for their planning and design? A group of teachers from the Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium in Potsdam want to make their students' wishes visible. Planners and administrators should be able to see more clearly what those who will later be educated in their buildings long for. What is actually important to the users of a school? Are there needs to which we should pay greater attention?

Together with the Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam e.V., the Hannah Arendt Gymnasium in Potsdam developed the idea of asking the entire student body of the newly founded Gymnasium how they imagine a school that really meets their needs. They did not write down what they wanted their school to be like, but rather worked out freely and without any restrictions in models and drawings how the pupils dreamed of their learning and their school togetherness. It should not be about architecture alone, but about everything that is important to children and young people in an educational setting.

In the 2018/19 school year, pupils from grades 7 to 9 have realised almost 100 models and many drawings in cooperation with the BKV. Free of conventions, they visualised their individual ideas - many of them as cooperative group work. The results are as diverse as the pupils themselves: some show highly individual fantasies, many reflect moods, an atmospheric climate or even needs for movement and ideas of security. Flexible materials, platforms and galleries, balconies or retreats show an extremely lively world of imagination. Generous open spaces are recognisable, as are botanical refuges, sports facilities and swimming pools.

As a result, a school book is to be created together with an artist. The idea of the Patrons is that it could serve as an inspiration for architects and administrators when planning school buildings. We imagine it should have a permanent place on the shelf next to the standards on fire protection and building law. But the book should also contribute to the discussion in schools and school councils.