ARC arose from a master’s thesis project in design at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany (Hochschule für Künst in Bremen), conceived by the designer, Carolina Guarnizo Caro, with the advice and oversight of Professor Detlef Rahe. The design process developed in the thesis project was tested on around fifty children at two schools in Bremen, the International School of Bremen and the elementary school Mahndorf, with very positive results. This project won an honorable mention in the HFK’s best design contest in February 2020.
ARC, as a project, is still in its early stages of development, and its implementation is still in the planning process as we secure more funding sources. However, given that the world is now confronting the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us are staying home, we decided to move forward more quickly to offer some of our activities online.
Why? Because ARC feeds on every day, “simple” challenges that any 6-year-old child could understand or even identify. What better time is there than during a global crisis with widespread quarantines to practice confronting challenges and finding solutions?
So, we asked ourselves, why don’t children, during those long hours at home, start to spend some time imagining, dreaming, and stimulating their minds by proposing some solutions to the many problems that surround us? Of course, we do not intend for children to solve the world’s problems, but we do see in this situation an ideal opportunity to exercise their creativity. They can take on the roles of inventors and superheroes and add some magic to all our lives by sharing their incredible ideas.
The overall design of this project is to develop various topics of social and environmental significance, with a special emphasis on the themes related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. However, given the current situation, we are making the “QUARANTINE” theme available right now to everyone, in Spanish, English and German. We are also sharing the theme “Sight” (an issue related to UN Sustainable Development Goal #10: “Reduction of Inequalities”) in the same three languages to offer a small sample of the type of activities that we plan to carry out in schools.
Our objective is to make our project accessible to primary school teachers from all corners of the globe, hoping that creativity accompanied by critical thinking becomes the norm in our schools. To that end, we will do our best to continuously share themes on our website that can be freely downloaded, shared and used.
Industrial designer from the National University of Colombia, passionate empirical illustrator and founder of the ARC project. She received her master’s degree in Integrated Design / System+Interaction at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen, Germany. Her degree project was the method, Problem-Based Creativity (PBC), a first version of the ARC project. Winner of an honorable mention in the HFK’s best work contest in February 2020. Much of her professional work has been dedicated to promoting the creative skills of children, initially motivated by her undergraduate thesis, developed in Ciudad Bolivar, a neighborhood with many social needs in Bogotá, where she discovered the enormous scope of children’s creativity. Carolina has also led almost sixty Creativity Workshops involving around six-hundred children in different cities and small towns of Colombia. This provided her with a lot of experience and taught her about the incredible creative skills that children have and the great need to exercise those abilities on a regular basis in schools. These experiences with children’s creativity were the inspiration as well as a fundamental basis for developing the ARC method.
In addition to her work with children, she has worked as a graphic designer at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Bremen and as an illustrator and designer on science communication projects like Ciencia Café pa’ Sumercé. Her first illustrated Children’s book was, Los Animales de mi mundo, by José Paniagua.
ARC would not have been possible without the immense collaboration of a large number of people, convinced of the importance of constantly activating the creative spark in children! Thank you! Richard
Schwerthalter, Prof. Detlef Rahe, Isabel Caro, Enrique Guarnizo, Carlos Guarnizo, Shelley Jerman, Cait May, Marcela Guarnizo Caro, José Paniagua, Daniela Marcucci, Clemencia Caro, Andrés Felipe Forero, María Antonia Villacís, Jorge Enrique Caro, Alejandra Aguilar.
Carolina Guarnizo Caro