ACCESS Summer 2018

Page 22

Education | Partner Feature

Building the OasISH Island

An Art meets Science Community Project Behind the beach of Kijkduin, lies a beautiful expanse of dunes, hosting sport fields and protected natural areas.


The dunes themselves, referred to by the locals as “Puin Duinen” (rubble dunes), were constructed from post-war debris but today remnants are difficult to spot. Preserving the nature in this area is very important to the International School of The Hague (ISH) and we try to incorporate that in the outside space at all times. Our exciting new ISH community initiative called OasISH Island does just that. Collaborative minds

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22 | ACCESS | SUMMER 2018

Elisabeth Chute, an ISH art teacher, started the ball rolling by inviting students, teachers and community organisations within ISH, including GIN (Global Issues Network) and GLOBE (The Global Learning

and Observations to Benefit the Environment) to join in “open door” creative workshops to explore the potential of designing our own green spaces, designed to be not only beneficial to health but also imaginative and aesthetically pleasing. A working group was soon formed of Science and Art teachers, students and the student-led association, ISH Enterprises. Partnered by local artists Annechien Meier and Gert Jan Gerlach from Laboratory of Microclimates, they explored the question, “If you could make your own oasis, what would it look like?”. Many ideas were explored in a variety of ­locations and, in the end, the amazing OasISH Island was created: a floating, man-made island in the ISH pond. OasISH Island is a self-regulating ecosystem that will host a variety of flora and fauna. The relationship between the island and its natural and man-made surroundings will help address and promote important issues, such as ecological versatility and balance, sustainability, and the management of water and energy. As for the design, OasISH is more than merely a garden on an island. Students from the ISH Art and Design departments worked together with the artists to come up with solutions that are both practical and aesthetically attractive. The care of the OasISH Island will rely on the ISH c­ommunity and relationships with internal and external experts. One of the aims of OasISH is ma­king important issues visible and tangible to t­he community. Only then will members of the community feel stimulated to work towards solutions. «