Design by and for Kids at Ordrup Skole

Andreas MortensenEducation, Tools

Designing with kids

We recently finished a longer project at Ordrup Skole, where 3rd graders have been mapping, analyzing and designing new solutions for their in and outdoor school environment. What was particularly interesting with this project was that it gave us an insight into how we can engage the very young children in co-creation and participatory planning.

Initially, the pupils mapped their movements in and around the school for one week in a logbook. This mapping of paths and places were then the focal point for a game of arki_nopoly. Arki_nopoly is a constant work in progress for arki_lab, and we are always looking to improve it as an involvement tool. For this project, it was a success to “game-ificate” the design process, meaning that we turned arki_nopoly into a competitive game, where the groups competed against each other. This helped to motivate the pupils to activate their knowledge concerning problems and potentials of the school environment

We found that the pupils were eager and enthusiastic to share their ideas and solutions, which in a final workshop were further developed with models, sketches and collages. This past Saturday the products done by the pupils, along with a mini-version of our citizen involvement tool arki_nopoly, were exhibited at the “Sej, Sund og Sikker” festival in Gentofte. Along with the exhibited material, an idea-catalog, which collected all of the data and design done by the pupils, were the products of this project. The catalog in turn is the foundation for an application for funding to get one or more of the design solutions built.

In order to facilitate empowerment by means of design and to achieve social sustainability, we must look to the everyday, and to the people who live it.

Blog Author: Kim Pløhn

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