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Participating together: dialogic space for children and architects in the design process

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rosie ParnellORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Typically enmeshed in the ‘voice’ perspective within children’s participation debates, there are currently sporadic insights into designer–child creative dialogue. Drawing on the findings of a Leverhulme Trust-funded research project, this paper articulates moments of dialogue between architects and children in spatial design processes, whose spatial and symbolic qualities help to understand the interactions and meeting of cultures. Several authors have discussed the transformational potential for adults and children to ‘co-author’ identities in dialogical contexts. The paper builds on this body of research to suggest that design dialogue offers the space, literally and metaphorically, for children and architects to participate together. Identifying the qualities of the dialogic design space as potentially present in children’s and adults’ everyday cultures and interdependent relations, it is proposed that this dialogical framework might diversify architects’ and children’s roles in the design process and enrich practices and perceptions of design participation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Birch J, Parnell R, Patsarika M, Sorn M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Children's Geographies

Year: 2017

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Pages: 224-236

Online publication date: 30/09/2016

Acceptance date: 05/08/2016

Date deposited: 12/12/2019

ISSN (print): 1473-3285

ISSN (electronic): 1473-3277

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2016.1238039


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