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Crossing Contexts: Applying a System for Collaborative Investigation of School Space to Inform Design Decisions in Contrasting Settings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Pamela Woolner, Dr Paula Cardellino



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


This paper presents a system for participatory appraisal and idea generation by a school’susers to enable interdisciplinary collaboration between educators and architects, producing schooldesigns appropriate to the needs of the school at the time and into the future. Our uses of this systemin two contrasting educational settings in England and in Uruguay are described. We show how thevisual-spatial activities supported the educators to consider education in spatial terms, build a sharedunderstanding and produce representations that could be used to convey ideas to architects anddesigners. Given that participation and cross-disciplinary collaboration in school design is knownto be challenging, but vital, we consider the features of our approach that enabled its success andmake it viable on each and every occasion of school design or redesign. Further, addressing thecritiques of attempted international transfer of architectural designs, educational policies, practicesand buildings, we argue that our system avoids these problems through seeking to transfer not aproject but the means to enable participation in a project.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Woolner P, Cardellino P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Buildings

Year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue: 11

Print publication date: 21/10/2021

Online publication date: 21/10/2021

Acceptance date: 07/10/2021

Date deposited: 03/11/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2075-5309

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110496


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