140 BBDO, together with SHOUTSA and charity Breadline Africa, has unveiled an exciting new library at Eisleben Road Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain. A key project of BBDO’s MAL Foundation, the library is now the third SHOUT SEED (Schools Extended Education Design) library in South Africa, the first of which was opened in Alexandra in Johannesburg in late 2012.
Mike Schalit, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO SA , and founder of their non-profit arm The MAL Foundation, says that he believes that libraries are the catalyst to unlocking literacy in South Africa and inspiring imagination. “This new SHOUT SEED library is a shining example of how design and creativity can be employed to address critical problems in our society. This building is more than just a place for books, it’s a haven for children to dream, imagine and learn.”
The library structure is a perfect example of ‘thinking out of the box’ as the architectural team from Architects of Justice together with 140 BBDO Designer, Emma Strydom challenged the conventional wisdom of using a narrow, restrictive, dour, grey container and harnessed space, colour and local eco-friendly materials to engage young minds.
140 BBDO Designer Emma Strydom says that she wanted to use the design primarily as a vehicle to encourage the imagination. “Using vibrant colouring and small elements that trace back to reading: an eye, a book, a pencil and letters allows for the design to be left up to each child’s interpretation. It’s a ‘teaser’ that activates the imagination.”
The new library in Mitchells Plain was unveiled to much fanfare from community members, pupils, school teachers, as well as SHOUTSA founders Danny K and Kabelo. The launch also coincides with National Library Week which runs from the 15th to 22nd of March.
“So inspiring to see SHOUT recognising the importance of creativity in solving problems in our country, being proactive about giving the needy other outlets beyond crime. What a striking contrast to other examples of prefabricated libraries in South Africa that are dull and unimaginative ‘prisons for books. We have no doubt that this dynamic design will play a tremendous role in encouraging children to read,’ says Schalit.