Creative Design of the Day Care Centre Facade

  • by Oluwaremi Dasho-Stierand

The wall painting of the Neue Steinmetzstraße daycare centre in Schöneberg-Nord is a funded project of the Stadtraum!Plus programme of the Stiftung Berliner Leben in cooperation with the KinderKünsteZentrum for the “Kunst im Kiez!” programme. The participatory artistic design of the kindergarten’s exterior walls was led by Japanese artist Kiyono Saito. The main goal of this project is to intensively involve the children in the process of designing the walls. This way they are proud of “their wall” and the kindergarten gets more visibility and identity in the neighbourhood.

Photo: Stiftung Berliner Leben

The children who participated are between 3 and 6 years old. They were divided into small groups and with the help of Kiyono Saito, they were able to paint and draw their own “Happy Monster”. In the process, they explored different ways of creating, such as working with brushes, mixing colours or gluing materials. Kiyono Saito explains, “Although you don’t usually see the ‘Happy Monsters’, they actually live in the KITA and support the children’s smiles and joy.”

First, the children drew a happy monster. Kiyono Saito created a magic box, using a magic wand to playfully teach the children body structure and number of body parts. The children coloured the monsters, added feet, hands, ribbons, glasses and beards. They named their happy monsters and stuck them on a sketch paper roll for the wall.

It was a very fun process for the children as they then painted their lucky monsters on the wall with rainbows, flowers, hearts and stars.

At the end of the project, there was a small opening where the children could show their monster to their parents. Each monster was applauded loudly and the children beamed with pride.