Redesigning schools: facilitating children’s involvement

Rokhshid Ghaziani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Children are skilful communicators capable to express themselves in many different ways. As experts of their own experiences it is important to include them in decisions regarding their own spaces. A review of literature on school design reveals there is a gulf between children’s experiences and designers’ methodology. Although children were involved in several projects in the UK, including ‘The School I’d Like’ (Burke and Grosvenor,2003), ‘Joinedupdesignforschools’ (Sorrell, 2005), ‘The Young Design Programme’ (The Sorrell Foundation, 2006 and 2007) and Creating Excellent Primary Schools (CABE, 2010), their involvement in the design or re-design of schools have not been explored meaningfully for years. School environment affects children’s health, performance and emotions. The effective design of school buildings makes these places more pleasant and more functional; and increases the quality of children’s spatial experience. Children’s views are important and need to be more effectively integrated in the school design projects. However, there are challenges for academics, designers and policy makers in determining which methods are appropriate for listening to children’s views and ensuring their effective participation. This paper explores the views and expectations of children regarding their school environments and aims to provide an overview for involvement of children in redesigning their schools. The empirical study was undertaken by 210 children (8-11 years old). The children re-designed three types of indoor spaces in four Primary schools in UK. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, including questionnaires, drawings and model making to gather and analyse children’s views. This paper presents the findings that emerged from children’s perspective. The initial findings highlight the importance of involving children in the school design process that could then inform the decision-making processes of architects and designers. The findings would have implications for school design practice, demonstrating how research can be embedded in primary schools.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
EventThe Environmental Design Research Association: TRANSFORM: Socially Embedded Collaboration - Arizona State University , Tempe, United States
Duration: 4 Apr 20207 Apr 2020


ConferenceThe Environmental Design Research Association
Abbreviated titleEDRA51
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • redesign of schools
  • children's participation
  • stakeholder engagement


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