Learn to think like a child. It makes sense. If you need to create something new, for example, build a playground, who, if not the children who will use it, can help with this? Increasingly, architects and landscape designers are involving young people in the design process. Architecture for children is a very important area of development, as it is the growing generation that can bring the necessary energy and break down any creative barriers.
Design is often associated with what is called "the possibility of thinking", which requires openness and the ability to analyze possible scenarios. According to one architect who has worked extensively with children designing schools, these skills are close to what children do in their creative "moments." He said: "I think that all creative processes are in some way a childish process that allows you to do something more spontaneous.way".
Spontaneity and curiosity
Preschoolers have that uninhibited curiosity about life that can bring fresh perspectives and explore alternative scenarios. Children are less prone to self-censorship of their ideas and decisions, they are honest and spontaneous. Architecture for children is one of the most interesting tools for expressing their multifaceted personality.
Kids can use just about anything in the process of designing a multifunctional outdoor space. Sometimes the consequences can be devastating and unpredictable. Architecture for Kids is a multidisciplinary tool that encourages children to trust in the development and transmission of ideas using science, technology, art, architecture and mathematics as a way of learning.
Developing creative thinking
While children may repeat the design process over and over again, a blank sheet of paper or generic building materials becomes a palette for their self-expression, which becomes more difficult over time for higher levels of visual communication as the student matures. Gradually understand the organizational principles of design, grammar and design language, how to draw and create models, study engineering, landscape design, architectural history. Projects are created for children designed to offer creative problem-solving processes.
Little Architect London
"Little Architect" is a program at the Association of Architects in London. Created in 2013, it is focused on teaching architecture to children of primary school age. Already amazing results have been achieved with more than 2,400 children from different countries receiving architecture lessons. They are particularly focused on delivering their program to low-income areas and public schools in London. “Our responsibility as architects is not only to design, but to highlight urban issues and contemporary architecture,” says Dolores Victoria Ruiz Garrido, author and program director.
"Little Architect" is an educational program that introduces children to architecture and the urban environment. Teaching students aged 4 to 11 how to observe, understand and enjoy architecture. School workshops are run in partnership with classroom teachers and are part of the UK National Curriculum. The teaching team helps children achieve their learning goals through architecture and art, while the program gives children the opportunity to think and talk about buildings and cities through drawings. These blueprints are used as a communication tool.
"We encourage children to create new, futuristic urban environments and pay attention to the amazing world around them," says Ruiz Garrido. “We want to evoke a new relationship with contemporary architecture and its local environment, encouraging childrento care for and also adequately criticize the cities in which we all live. The way we design our cities is changing for the better. The model of participation, the voice of the community and the flexible dialogue between citizens and politicians are widely demanded. Today, it is more necessary than ever to be educated from a young age in architecture and sustainable living. If we want better cities, we need dedicated, empowered and informed citizens working together for a shared future.”
Encouraging a young voice
Everyone is pleased to be able to speak calmly about their own views, and it is always nice to hear that their opinion matters. This also applies to children. How does preschool children get acquainted with architecture? First of all, learning occurs through play activities. One of their main goals is to promote creativity.
Architecture for High Schoolers is the perfect tool to integrate into any school theme and create strong links to history, science, geography and more. The main idea is to enable young children to feel responsible for their future city. Architecture classes for kids can have a positive impact on the environment and people's happiness.
School of architectural thinking for children in Belarus
The practice of teaching architecture from childhood is enoughcommon in European countries. In Finland, for example, it is included in the school curriculum. There are even special architecture schools for children. And this is not surprising. Buildings in cities are the places where people spend most of their lives. It is important from preschool age not only to study architecture, but also to learn how you can change the world for the better.
The profession of an architect involves many disciplines: history, philosophy, fine arts, mathematics, ergonomics, physics. The list goes on. Among the skills are the ability to research, analyze, communicate and find a common language with customers and authorities, design, present products of labor and build. Architectural thinking is a system of comprehensive understanding of a complex and rapidly changing world.
The Belarusian School of Architectural Thinking has developed a unique methodology, the purpose of which is a smart child, confident, courageous and successful. The leading activity in childhood is the game. To familiarize senior preschool children with architecture, due to the main game principles and methods of architectural thinking, a certain atmosphere is created in the institution where the student is liberated, offers his unique ideas using the language of different types of art and reveals his creative potential. Children learn to work in a team, master communication skills, learn to negotiate and defend their own point of view.
What is included in the program of the School of Architectural Thinking?
The school has a certaindivision, there are 16 main studios to choose from:
- Graphic design.
- Object design.
- Street art.
- Modern art.
In addition to the main ones, extradisciplines are studied: economics, genetics, history, theatrical art and others. There are certain age limits: the first group is 6-7 years old, the second is 8-10 years old.
Architecture for preschoolers and beyond
Various architectural studios offer programs that help children and teenagers from 2.5 to 17 years old develop their creative potential. Future architects are taught how to create the first models of buildings and other urban structures with their own hands, and also contribute to the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and abilities that may be necessary for admission to specialized universities.
Education for children of preschool and primary school age, up to 12 years old, has as its main goal the formation of spatial thinking, the ability to draw and design. Children master the "feeling" of the surrounding space, learn to distinguish between proportions, colors and volumes. The guys get acquainted with the theory: the history of architecture and the works of famous masters. In practical classes, various large-scale projects anddesigns.
Learning objectives and prerequisites
The main tasks of architectural education and development are as follows:
- formation of the ability to recognize styles in architecture;
- formation of the ability to translate architectural images through artistic creativity;
- patriotism, instilling love for your hometown, country;
- development of a sense of beauty;
- development of memory, thinking and imagination.
Familiarization of older preschool children with architecture takes place in a complex and step-by-step manner. To begin with, it is necessary to form in children primary knowledge about architecture as a special kind of art. Next, it is worth establishing a connection between the perception of art and productive children's creativity.
The art of architecture and ample opportunities in the upbringing and development of the individual
Introducing children to architecture has many positive consequences:
- formation of cognitive interests;
- acquaintance with a wide variety of surrounding objects and phenomena;
- responsiveness and love of beauty;
- development of a sense of beauty;
- cultivating respect for cultural heritage;
- respect for the results of other people's work;
- artistic creation;
- expressing your ideas in various artistic activities;
- an impetus to independent creative activity.
In the learning process, children needto provide an opportunity to use the information received in various types of artistic and creative activities, as well as to use a variety of forms and methods of familiarization with architecture. These can be conversations, drawing, excursions, walks, viewing illustrations and photographs, cartoons, various didactic games and much more.
Little people - great ideas
Holistic Education uses a systematic approach in which the individual parts - science education, math education, and others - are combined to create a stronger and more integrated curriculum, in which students and teachers are encouraged to make connections and identify correlations between various disciplines.
Science education includes aspects of language, literacy, mathematics and even music. Language art includes exploration of concepts and ideas from history, science, art, and so on. With a certain amount of creativity, art education can easily be integrated into any lesson plan. Presenting concepts through visual and musical forms can enhance and expand learning across all subjects. The main task of adults is to create a space where children can grow, develop and thrive.