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18 Feb 13

Ars86care's Children Picture Book to build public awareness on nurturing the environment


Man made environment is a terminology used by architects, engineers, urban planner, urban designer, and landscaper as reverse to natural environment. It is a complex web of green and open space,  road and pedestrian network, buildings and monuments, drainage system, mechanical and electrical system expansion to natural environment. Well planned city will include them all in one master plan, with detailed plan in every single neigborhood. This plan then transform into two dimensional images drawn as artist impressions and three dimensional in form of scaled mock ups. In reality, 1:1 three dimensional form is places we live in a city.  Unfortunately man made environment did not come up with “how to take good care” manual for users.  Lacking of such knowledge may cause misbehave in the environment. Indonesia experiences these misbehaves for more than decades, including throwing garbage to drainage system, rivers and the sea, cut off trees in conservation areas, and replace grass to concrete pavement on land surface, to name a few. Unconsiderably, collection of these little wrong doing may cause bigger catasthrophy in cities.  

Ars86care foundation founded by a group of architects initiate a series of children picture book entitled “My City” to teach children to take good care of the environment where we live in. Five books entitled About Street and Circullation, About Home, About Play Space, About School, and About Sport Facilities have been published, addressing children age 8-12 years old. With glossy covers and full color illustration artworks, the books are distributed through Indonesian elementary schools libraries and private children libraries via organization with similar vision. Currently, 5,000 books are absorbed and benefitted approximately 250,000 children throughout Indonesia. Reaching out more reader, currently the books are also provided in digital version.

The story of eight Indonesian children experience various spaces in a city are told by Indonesian animal icons such as Banteng Jawa, Kalimantan’s Rangkong Bird, Sulawesi’s Tarsius, Sumatran’s Tiger, Papua’s Tree Kangaroo to let the children know and love Indonesian origin animals. Practical tips on how to behave in places where we are in a city is also underlined beside green living tips. For example walking on pedestrian pathway, throwing garbage in trashcan, queuing while waiting for one turn, playing safe, turning off the lights when a room is not being used, turning off the water tap on washbasin to save water, and more.

As an effort to build public awareness on taking good care of the environment, the books have attracted good cause partnership with government, publishing industry, academic institution, as well as local and international non government organization. My City About Play Space has already been reprinted by Ministry of Women Empowerment and Children Protection and brought by the Minister to Indonesian Children as well as Indonesian regency and city authorities to highlight children facilities in their development plan. Thanks to Indonesia Mengajar, Wahana Visi Indonesia, Pelita Hati, and more, My City books have been handed down to children throughout Indonesia. “Children age is strategic period to character building. My City Children Picture Book is an attractive media visual to educate our children for better character, ” endorsed by Anies Baswedan, Paramadina University President and Head of Indonesia Mengajar.

The book is inspiring Architecture Engineering Student at Parahyangan Chatolic University to conduct children event at elementary school nearby in Bandung. Under the title Save Energy Detective, children go from space to space in their school to act as Energy Saver Hero.  Book simulation is also conducted by Pelita Hati community in Ciledug area.  Aiming elementary children, My City Children Picture Book is provided to Indonesian children with big hope that they may become the agent of change on the environment awareness transformation in their community. 

18 Feb 2013