CoCreation Best Practice #1: “škola a komunita” – school and community.


ŠAK is the abbreviation for “škola a komunita” – school and community. It began with the understanding of school as an institution with excellent disposition of public space that could
be offered to its neighbourhood. The main idea of this project was to create a “shared physical
space” (school yard, inside school rooms) that would gather parents, pupils, neighbours,
the local population, teachers, etc., through active participation and collaboration. The project
aimed to develop mutual community relations and to improve local environment via active
participation of the local population. Project participants met at the space of an elementary
school. The whole project was very open and democratic and tried to motivate people to be
as participative as possible. Through co-creation activities, participants improved the look of
the local environment, learned about participative design and (the importance of) (sub)urban
environment. Or they just gathered to get to know each other and make new friends in the
neighbourhood. ŠAK combined the knowledge of professionals in the fields of sociology, architecture, pedagogy and community art to offer communities unusual and creative solutions
through relation building and motivation of parents and neighbours to participate. The school
offered the physical space for the meetings. At the moment, the ŠAK project runs its activities
at two local elementary schools in two different suburb areas in Košice.
ŠAK is a cooperation model involving a school and the community based on the creation and
use of common space. Like other redevelopment projects in public space, project coordinators
have to deal with different stakeholders and their personal goals, fears, commitment
and time budget. The coordinators invited a pedagogue to the project management team to
obtain a direct line to the school administration. Not only is this person involved as a support
and connection with school authorities, but also a future potential co-creation facilitator. The
current facilitator is aware of the fact that she cannot be present all the time (which she is
not supposed to anyways). Therefore, she is trying to pass on her knowledge about facilitation
to the pedagogue, and thus, ensure the continuation of the project even after she leaves
(e.g., for a new school cooperation project). The goal is to bring a new person to the co-design
process at the school and achieve methodology, and thus, recommendations for future
local co-creation activities.
Zuzana Tabačková/ŠAK – škola a komunita