One summer day she told us that we’re going to do a ‘project’. The word was very much unfamiliar to me but she explained no further. Instead, my mother took us to the nearby stationery shop and we bought some colored sticker paper, markers and a cardboard box. She cut the box open and flattened it. Then, she cut stripes of black sticker paper and stuck it into the middle axis of the cardboard base and later surrounded it by green paper. She then went to the kitchen and got some empty plastic bottles and cardboard boxes and turned them upside down. She told us to bring our toy cars and drive them through the roads. She built us a paper city.
A couple of years later my brother and I would jump out every morning of our bunk bed to the other side of the room where it took almost half of the room’s floor. We’d ask ourselves on which side should the overpopulating city expand? Is it from the side where the roads end in a severe dead end? Or the other side where the park lies with no parking spots? Does the city need more buildings or green spaces? Or more parking spots?
After a short high-pitched argument we’d tear a fresh page out of our least used school copybooks and tape it along the decided edge. With our pencils and crayons as our tools, we’d lengthen the roads, draw new building plot limits, sidewalks with innovative patterns and garden spaces. We’d measure with our toy cars the street lanes and the parking plots. We’d roll small pieces of paper and glue them to the road to create humps. We’d make paper street signals and paper trees. We’d fold other fresh pages of our least used school copybooks into four parts and draw windows and balconies then glue it to the building plots.
And that’s how we spent our days for years.
Fifteen years later, my brother and I are in an architecture school. Now, with fancy modelling tools and computer renderings.