SCHOOLS WITHOUT WALLS. The Outside as a Learning Site


Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

September 12, 2018 at 5 pm, Beskydská 12, Bratislava

Maj Horn, Nils Norman, Zora Pauliniová, Roman Javilák
Lýdia Pribišová

The event will be conducted in English.

Maj Horn is a visual artist, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She holds a master from the Funen Art Academy (DK). Her work deals with public spheres and communities, by looking into aspects of knowledge sharing, the acquisition of sites, and the identity and atmosphere of places. The media she works with range from photo and installations to dialogue-based processes, walks, and actions. Her work has among other places been presented at I: project space (CN), Art Lab Gnesta (SE), Center for Art and Urbanistics (DE) and Museum of Contemporary Art (DK).

Nils Norman is an artist based in London, UK. He works across the disciplines of public art, architecture and urban planning. His projects challenge notions of the function of public art and the efficacy of mainstream urban planning and large-scale regeneration. Informed by local politics and ideas on alternative economic, ecological systems and play, Norman’s work merges utopian alternatives with current urban design to create a humorous critique of the discrete histories and functions of public art and urban planning. Norman was a Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark, at the School of Walls and Space from 2009 until 2017.

Roman Javilák is an elementary teacher and after school club educator at Dr. Ivan Dérer Elementary School, at Jelenia Street in Bratislava, just around the corner from He has been a part of the project SCHOOLS WITHOUT WALLS.

Zora Kalka Pauliniová connects the role of architect, facilitator and cyclist in the field of participation, community development and placemaking. She has vast experience as a facilitator of planning processes involving the public, including young people and children. She is the author of the book "Public spaces," as well as the book "Past for the Future / How to Understand the City", which is a catalog of methods how to work with children and adults in city planning.

Lýdia Pribišová, an independent curator and editor-in-chief of the magazine Flash Art Czech & Slovak Edition, lives and works in Bratislava. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as the project coordinator at, and in 2007 and in 2011 she was the co-curator of the Slovak section of PragueBiennale. She has cooperated as a curator with many public and private institutions at home and abroad.

A collaboration project between, PILOT and Dr. Ivan Dérer Elementary School in Bratislava

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.

Supported by the Slovak Art Council, Grant Scheme of Bratislava Self-Governing Region, Ars Bratislavensis and the Danish Arts Foundation.

The SCHOOLS WITHOUT WALLS exhibition includes a discussion about the connections between learning and play, environmental education and the role of art. Artists Maj Horn and Nils Norman, urban activist Zora Pauliniová and teacher Roman Javilák bring their contribution to this joint discussion, moderated by curator Lýdia Pribišová.

“All sites are learning sites,” declared the English writer, architect and teacher Colin Ward (1924 – 2010). He spent half a century experimenting with and writing about environmental education. In his book The Child in the City (1978) Ward introduced the concept of a “School without Walls,” which can mean that the urban environment, instead of the classroom, is used as a learning site or that the environment itself is treated as a subject, like Mathematics or French. Ward’s approach was to educate children to realize that they can actively play a part in shaping their surroundings, that what they say about where and how they live will be listened to, and that the key to their future lies in their own awareness.

During the discussion Ward’s concepts and environmental education in general will be debated, both on a theoretical level regarding the impact of learning sites and the rights to the city, and on a hands-on level about the potential of implementing the ideas of environmental education in today’s school systems. The physical and imaginative qualities of play spaces in the city represent another important issue related to drawing lines between play and learning.

Participants from various fields will share their experiences and practices - Maj Horn and Nils Norman will present their perceptions as artists, while Roman Javilák will offer his views as a teacher. Zora Pauliniová’s experiences are expressed in projects in Slovakia which are collected in the publication The Past for the Future – How to Better Understand the City (Minulosť pre budúcnosť - Ako lepšie porozumieť mestu), which presents various methods of dealing with the themes of urbanism and architecture with children.

The discussion will also touch on historical examples, such as the concept of psycho-geography developed by Situationist International movement and defined by Joseph Hart in 2004 as "a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities... just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape." The idea of playscape, which is a combination of playground and sculpture, conceptualized by Japanese American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi since the 1930s, will also be examined.