Designing with Children


'Not your usual study space' Courtesy: Marianthi Liapi, Architect at Transformable Intelligent Environments Laboratory, Technical University of Crete.

As promised, we are pleased to tell you about some publications resulting from the project. Look out for this journal paper:

Birch, J., Parnell, R., Patsarika, M., Maša Šorn (forthcoming) Creativity, play and transgression: children transforming spatial design. Co-Design, International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts.

There are also two books which have been accepted for publication by Routledge and these are expected to come out late 2016 or early 2017 at the latest. Seems like ages away but...not really.

Each book will be prefaced with the title: Spatial Design with Children and address slightly different aspects of this subject we have been exploring in different ways.

One of the books, authored by Rosie Parnell and Maria Patsarika, will have a 'how to do it' emphasis, presenting new ways of seeing children's and designers' roles and a range of different approaches to engagement.

The second book takes the next step, sharing the experiences of spatial designers who have worked directly with children and our own observations of these processes. We present architects' personal experiences without attempting to tell readers how design IS in certain terms or indeed how it SHOULD be. For some practitioners, the book will help to know what to expect when working with children; other readers will find themselves reflecting on the rich details of others’ experiences noting how they mirror or contrast with their own practice. Educators and thinkers outside direct spatial design practice will hopefully also find this book an interesting read, sometimes supporting, sometimes questioning their own understandings of children's engagement in design and in wider worlds.

Exciting stuff.

Whilst writing, we just unearthed this people-centred reflection from one of our early interviews with practitioners:

I think the beautiful things in school design are actually where it is about the people inside of it rather than the way it looks, so you have to be prepared to change your idea about award winning architecture.

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