School design in harmony with nature: promoting children’s interaction and care for plants

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Schools can play a vital role in supporting children’s health and well-being and there is an increasing recognition in the role of nature in school design. Connection to nature also could have positive impacts on children’s wellbeing, horticultural and scientific knowledge, as well as environmental awareness; therefore, design of spaces could expand engagement to more than school users’ needs and consider multispecies care.

This pilot study is based on experimental studies funded by The Royal Society (Partnership Grant, 2020-22) and The University of Portsmouth (2023) in a primary school in West Midlands. It explores the eco-centric design of leaning spaces by installing green living walls, edible and moss walls in indoor and outdoor spaces.

The study aims to assess the impacts of growing and taking care of the plants, edibles and moss on children’s learning, feelings and wellbeing. It also aims to evaluate the impacts of the green and moss walls on the quality of air, attracting insects as well as environmental awareness. The study will utilise participatory research methodology with schoolchildren to co-create these living walls with them. This paper presents children’s views, their feelings and interaction with these living walls. It suggests how design of spaces in schools could be in harmony with nature to promote biodiversity and multispecies care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2023
EventAHRA 2023: Situated Ecologies of Care - School of Architecture, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth
Duration: 25 Oct 202327 Oct 2023
Conference number: Session 109


ConferenceAHRA 2023
Internet address


  • School design
  • children’s care for plants
  • eco-centric design of leaning spaces
  • living walls
  • edible and moss walls

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