Children have the right to have a say and be listened to in all matters that concern them, not least their own living environment. We listened to students in Mörrum to better understand how they feel about their new school.
At FOJAB, we have good experience of working from a child perspective. We work a lot with user dialogue to meet the needs of children in schools and other knowledge environments, but we have felt a desire to supplement the toolbox with methods for how we can work better with the child's perspective. We wanted to let the children themselves talk about their experiences and participate in shaping the world around them.
The Architecture Wise Kids lab project gave us the opportunity to explore this further. FOJABlab is our platform for experimental development work, where we test ideas and find ways to take knowledge further.
In the autumn of 2022 Mörrum school. Part way through the semester, we met with the students to hear how they feel about the new environment. We wanted to get their views on what works and doesn't work, if they have suggestions for improvements, how they experience and use different parts of their school. For two days, we met students from grades 1, 3 and 6. We did various exercises and talked about everything from form and function, light and acoustics to choice of materials, experience and feeling. We experienced great commitment to the task, pride in the new school and a willingness to share their experiences. We were so impressed by these architecturally wise children, who so insightfully analyze their physical environment!
The direct feedback from the children will help us to ensure what we have done right, but also to understand what we can do better. Another goal was to increase children's interest in architecture and create positive feelings about how to use their influence.
Are you curious about what children thought of their school? See the the movie here!
Want to know more about our methods for working with children's perspectives? Feel free to contact our architecture educator Kristina Kember.