Using principles of education to drive practice in sustainable architectural co-design with children

  • YEAR
    Wake, Susan J.
    2011 Conference Papers
    Design Education
    Sustainability Issues


ABSTRACT: The intention of engaging children and young people in sustainable architectural design is for
them to learn about sustainable principles and practices of building. This is seen as valuable due to the
ideals sitting behind this premise; that this may positively influence their behaviour towards the built
environment in the future. A creative and problem-solving process, design and construction of spaces is not
traditionally taught in New Zealand primary schools. Yet, in practice, the process offers advantages that fit it
well for children’s learning about the environment. For example design is experiential, cross-disciplinary,
collaborative, engaging, egalitarian, on going and can lead to authentic and relevant outcomes. Using an
action-taking project by primary schoolchildren to co-design and build an eco-classroom at their school this
paper considers these factors in conjunction with education for sustainability (EfS) principles and making
reference to other co-design projects. As a result some key management aspects of this co-design project
will be identified. Called ‘ecologies of learning’ to emphasise their integrated nature and the overarching
focus of sustainable learning within the project, they suggest some important foci for co-design projects that
may encourage a more mainstream shift from principles to practice in this area, among built environment


To top