Evaluative, inclusive, participatory: Developing a new language with children for school building design

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Elsevier Ltd

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This paper emphasises the attribute of Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) in school (re) design by extending the research toward genuine participation and evaluation. It aims to re-conceptualise “child’s participation” through exploring its relationship with POE by observing child-built environment connection and by demonstrating how children engage with the problems of school design. This empirically grounded research presents eight workshops with three different schools in Albania. It explores the process, outcomes, challenges, and opportunities during the active involvement of a total of 502 children aged 10–14 years old. The research incorporates a multiplicity of techniques from both creative and evaluative methods: essays, wish poem, drawing, model making, poster design, visual/POE questionnaire and walk-through are some that ensure a comprehensive achievement of children in the process. The study confirms the utility of participation in school design as a tool to propose child-oriented spaces. Within the results, six design concepts of the desired school building of children are identified. These are flexibility, horizontality, campus-like environment, transparency, accessibility, and ecological concept. We propose a participation language based on the experience, perception, imagination, and active involvement of the children in the learning environments. It concludes that children participation builds upon a spatial experience which lies on the child-school relationship. Language is dynamic and allows researchers and designer to edit and annotate whenever needed, but by always referring to the school of children active and present in participation. It emphasises the POE-participation connection and to further open the discourse of participation to the Albanian public.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Albania, Design process, Post-occupancy evaluation, School building, User participation, Architectural design, Computer aided instruction, School buildings, Built environment, Design concept, Ecological concepts, Evaluative methods, Learning environments, Poster design, Postoccupancy evaluation (POE), School design, Structural design, Young peoples participation, Environment, Thoughts, Ladder


Building and Environment

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Manahasa, O., Özsoy, A. & Manahasa, E. (2020). Evaluative, inclusive, participatory: Developing a new language with children for school building design. Building and Environment, 188, 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.107374