Bring on the Concrete!

Education in Concrete Manifesto: Students’ demands on the school buildings of today and tomorrow

Change the climate!

Too cold in winter, too hot and stuffy in summer—we demand ventilation and heating systems that save energy and help protect us from the coronavirus!

Gray is old-school

We demand more colors and shapes! Colorful walls and graffiti, corners, edges and curves, mosaic-tile columns, plants and pictures on the walls.

Let in the light!

We need large windows for light-filled classrooms and better lighting in the building.

Noise off!

It’s too loud; we need quiet to concentrate. We demand good sound insulation for relaxing acoustics.

Have a seat - or not!

Mobile room modules, armrests, foldout tables, height-adjustable furniture, loungers, a climbing wall: We demand more flexible furnishings, enough with sitting for hours!

Food for the mood!

We want food that tastes good! We want to have a say in what we eat, cook for ourselves sometimes and have well-designed rooms to eat in. And how about a chocolate fountain?

Clean it up!

No trash cans in sight, soap dispensers empty again. The school is often filthy and smelly. We demand clean and hygienic rooms. Self-cleaning toilets would be great!

Do not disturb!

We want to feel at ease at school. We demand meeting areas and quiet rooms to relax in. Lounges and retreats with sofas, pillows, massage chairs and hammocks would be helpful. We also want water kettles and snack machines.

From A to B

Most schools are huge. Not all of us are able or want to just climb stairs. We’d prefer escalators, slides and elevators for more accessibility and a change of pace while moving around!

Grenn deal

We demand more plants! Green schoolyards and roofs with places to garden, sit, climb, and play. We’d also like aquariums, terrariums and a school garden with school animals, a fish pond and bees.

Get loud!

We demand places to have fun, be loud and move! How about climbing walls, high-ropes courses, gaming rooms, ball game areas, a swimming pool, and skater ramps?

More art and diversity!

We demand cinemas, theaters and recording studios for more art, music and drama classes! Dance groups and jukeboxes need space. We want a diverse and open-minded school with room for cultural diversity!

21st century, now!

We demand better equipped computer rooms, (strong) WiFi, smartboards, tablets! Cell phones are part of everyday life so we demand a phone class! VR glasses and a school robot would be cool, too.

Get out of school!

We demand more excursions and partnerships! We want to learn in the city and our neighborhood with and from other people besides just our teachers.

With students at Bettina-von-Arnim-Schule, Campus Hannah Höch, Carl-von-Linné-Schule, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Schule, Hans-Rosenthal-Grundschule, Johann-Gottfried-Herder-Gymnasium, Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium, Walter-Gropius-Schule

In Berlin, the issue of school development is a hot topic due to the Senate’s multibillion-euro school construction offensive. With this manifesto, Berlin students articulate their own demands for school buildings and thus position themselves within the public debate. The demands are the product of the school project Education in Concrete (2020/2021), part of the research and exhibition project Education Shock for HKW’s long-term project The New Alphabet (2019–22).