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Children Designing Spaces


Pupils Emilia, Fergus, Keiran, Ann, Ara, Sean, Tom, Kofi, Claudia and Caitlin share their experience:

“We were involved in two judging sessions. In the first session we collaborated with the architects to create success criteria to help us observe and judge the entries effectively. We considered various points such as aesthetics, suitability for use, sense of place and creativity of the designer. In the second session we split into groups of mixed ages to narrow our entries into a shortlist for each category using the success criteria as a guide.”

“We presented our opinions and received comments from the architects. For some people, this was a nerve-wracking experience. But as we progressed and started discussing the designs, we became more comfortable and were encouraged to express our opinions more confidently.”

“We think it is important to have children involved in designing spaces…As you grow up you limit yourself to logical things and this can restrict your imagination; children don’t do this so much”

“We found it interesting to hear from architects and to find out that architecture has its own language. We now have new words to describe buildings and can understand how varied spaces can be.”

“Some of us also changed our perception of architects. At first we thought they would be eccentric, formal and intimidating. However, we found them to be approachable and down to earth!”

“We think it is important to have children involved in designing spaces as you get their opinions and not just adults’ views. Children may have very different views on buildings.”

“As you grow up you limit yourself to logical things and this can restrict your imagination; children don’t do this so much. Architects might also be thinking of big stuff and forget the importance of little things.”

“We have learned that working with different age groups has helped us to view other people’s perspectives. Group presentations boosted our confidence and expanded our overall knowledge of architecture and now we look at buildings differently.”

“One member of our team felt he’d learned about being confident and being able to have a say.”

As part of the conference, the young people from St John’s RC Academy in Perth were invited to attend and contribute. They told us:

“We were all really excited about attending the Making Space 2016 conference. We all had different roles on the day including writers, social reporters and promoters. We had a special area in the conference where we could invite delegates and speakers to come and talk to us and share their thoughts on the day.”

“The best bits about being a part of Making Space 2016 were being able to interact with architects and getting to understand how much work they put into their jobs. It was also really nice to be able to spend time with different year groups in my school that have the same interests as there are not a lot of opportunities to do that within the school.”

“On reflection, this was a very valuable experience for all of us and one that we will remember for a long time.”

“[As a result of this experience] many of us are now actively considering a career in architecure!” Young participant from St John’s RC Academy, Perth

The young people who were involved in the process of Making Space 2016 reflect on how they feel having participated. They said:

“When we discussed the Soyoo Joyful Growth Centre, we imagined ourselves in that space to further extend our knowledge and create accurate judgment. Everyone imagined themselves swinging on the circular chairs and walking through the green and red room; we commented how it appeared humid and fun as if we were playing laser tag.

Caitlin said:

“I’ve realised what it takes to create a certain atmosphere in a building as there are lots of things that we identified in the success criteria which contribute to it. I hope this will help me in my future of architecture and if I am ever creating a space for children I will be able to evaluate it through different ages groups instead of having a fixed mindset.”

Here’s a final thought from Tom:

“Looking back on the day, I think about how I see the world of architecture differently. Like how whenever I see a building I think about whether or not it meets that success criteria. This is good though. It is a good thing to see the world like this, as it will help you in life no matter what job you take.”

 

“Whenever I see a building [now], I think about whether or not it meets the [Making Space 2016] sucess criteria. This is good though. It is a good thing to see the world like this.” Young participant from St John’s RC Academy, Perth