Gigant octopus with colorful tentacles appear in Betina’s kindergarten.

Piše: Ivana Marin — 2. September, 2020.

The reopening of the kindergarten’s door in Betina made happy the little ones who will spend their time in it! WHY? A giant octopus with colorful tentacles has appeared in their playground and will be at their disposal all the time – for play and laugh!! The installation was designed and made by Argonautin’s EVS volunteer Claudia Calamia, for whom this was a personal project, and with the help of the diligent hands of Mr. Joso Ćorkalo and other volunteers, the installation was successfully set up and ready for use!

Take a look at the enthusiasm of the children when they saw the octopus in the gallery, and read the full explanation of the personal project “from idea to realization” in the text below which was prepared by our Claudia.

Environmental sustainability takes place when our behavior turns to respect what is gathered around us. It is not material, an object, or something tangible; it is just thinking and doing something as if taking care of nature was our target too during the design process.

As a European volunteer in the Argonauta association, I had the opportunity to develop a personal project. I started thinking about how to give my best contribution to the community I’m living in, observing the behavior, the needs, the target. Meantime, I tried to match that with my skills and with the desire to spread a passive education about eco-sustainability through the design.

The aim of this project is to pay attention to some reusable waste materials very common to find like tires from cars. These kinds of processed rubbers are not disposable in nature cause of natural and chemical materials mixing. Nowadays treads are recyclable with a good percentage of the recovered rubber (almost 70%) and produced energy (30%). But the process is pretty new and still expensive, especially for some small companies.

However, before to disposal these products, it is possible to make a previous step in order to extend their life and postpone in this manner the use of new energy to process them. So, according to green thinking, before to recycle we can reuse dismissed products giving them a new life in a new context, modifying their life cycle product.

Treads are made by really interesting materials thanks to the performance that this kind of rubber possesses, and it would be a shame not to exploit them.

The second, but no less important, aim of the project is to send a message about the good behavior of reusing, especially of this kind of not disposable materials.

Through the use of second-life products is possible to give a good example to show from which to take inspiration. Proper like a kind of passive education.

The perfect target? Children, of course! Because they are like sponges ready to catch and register the full meaning of the action.

Siccome è quasi impossibile modificare il pensiero di un adulto, noi dovremo occuparci dei bambini. Cit. Munari

Since it is almost impossible to change an adult’s thinking, we will have to deal with children.

So, I checked different spot around the island and when I saw the kindergarten in Betina was clear in my mind that the place could be the perfect place in order to fix the external wall and recreate a new scenery where children could enjoy the playing moments.

Agree with Petra, principal of kindergarten, the project started!

Concretely, it was based on the recovering of tires from repair shops and garages, in order to create an alternative corridor helping the small shops to dismiss these products. Autoservis Robi and Autoservis Antušina in Betina, that we thanks for the kind collaboration, have been our sources.

After collecting enough pieces we started with a washing process of the tires using natural products like soda and water and a lot of our energy! After this process, it was possible to paint them with the first hand of white painting in order to give brightness to the next colorful painting hand.

Considering the actions and behaviors of children in existing play areas and the outdoor toys already realized the proposal run towards something new: a sort of climbing wall (with a funny face!).

It is based on simple and recognizable shape in order to base it on direct experimentation and on stimulating children’s curiosity. Adults do not have to teach anything about toys’ use but simply intervene as little as possible suggesting multisensory stimuli that the child is able to rework on his own.

Suddently a giant orange octopus with colorful tentacles made by tires appeared in the kindergarten!

This project, of course, will be in accordance with safeness for the users and with current regulations. While the simple construction and management such as creating drainage holes for water will easy maintenance. Another important element will be taking care of the contextualization in the environment and careful to eco-sustainability process for their construction, and decoration (e.g. non-toxic paint).

In this regard, we have to thank Mr. Josip for his collaboration and for the indispensable helping in the installation.

But a special thanks have to go to all the Argonauta team and volunteers Michele, Concetta and Matija which allowed my idea to come true.

Thanks to the Kindergarten Sponge Tisno and Tisno municipality for help in cofinance of this project!

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