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Evolution of built environment with

respect to child psychology


Devvrat Chowdhary
2010barc009

Structure of the presentation


AIM
OBJECTIVE
SCOPE & LIMITATIONS
BACKGROUND STUDY
METHODOLOGY
LITERATURE REVIEW
PARAMETERS
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
OBSERVATIONS AND INFERENCES

AIM
The aim of the study is to provide a strategy of built environment for the children
catering to their perceptual requirements.

OBJECTIVES
To enlist the relationship of form proportion and children.
To enlist the needs of the children in terms of perceptual space.
To arrive at possible design strategies to provide an environment for
positive cognitive development.

SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS


The study will focus only on cognitive response to space.
The sample for the study will be children from the age of 0-15 years.
No live case studies will be considered.

BACKGROUND STUDY
Children shape the environment and
The environment shapes them
What is the Built environment?
The built environment is the urban area around you. Our world is becoming increasingly developed and
crowded. Much of where we live is man-made from the roads and city parks to the houses and
apartments we live in. The built environment includes all of these spaces. The study of the built
environment promotes a quality physical environment that protects health and prevents illness and
injury. A quality physical environment is one that does not put our health at risk, and encourages
activities that promote physical, mental, and social health, such as daily physical activity. Advocates for
the built environment promote the idea of Natural Learning, which is the use of the natural
environment as a setting for children to learn and play.

Well-designed spaces can keep children safe as well as enhance their organizational and academic skills.
Good design can strengthen families by reducing conflict over personal and shared spaces. The first
consideration when designing spaces for children should be safety. Children need safe places to explore and
learn.
Most important is the recognition that children need to be observed and listened to in order for their
priorities to be understood within a complex urban environment. Each contributor has this priority in mind,
acting as an interpreter of their subtle needs and aspirations, often outside the traditional educational and
economic conventions.

BACKGROUND STUDY
Young childrens spatial working memory (SWM) responses are biased toward the center of a homogenous space
whereas older children and adults subdivide the space along the midline symmetry axis, and their memory responses
are biased away from the center of the space.
Children to occupy and use spaces not prioritized by adults.
Three-year-olds produce the spatial terms in, on, and under, whereas 4-year-old children produce more complex
terms such as back and front. Very little is known about childrens production of the complex terms between and
middle. These terms require comparison with two reference objects, which involves considerable conceptual and
syntactic complexity.
What mechanisms might facilitate young childrens mastery of such complexity? One potential
mechanism is scaffoldingthe process by which experts provide support to help children accomplish more than they
could do on their own (Vygotsky, 1978).

RESEARCH QUESTION
To identify the key elements in the living environment from the perspective of the children
What are the important physical qualities of the environment?
What are the important social qualities of the environment?
What are the important cognitive qualities of the environment?
Are there some design strategies to achieve such qualities

METHODOLOGY

ISSUE
Literature Review

Perception
Parameters

THEORIES

Literature
case study
Design
Strategies

Spatial need

Observations

Result

LITERATURE STUDY
Physical

SPACE

Social

Cognitive

Bodily growth
Maturation
Interaction of
children with
surroundings

Transaction with peers


and elders affords
them to assimilate and
accommodate the
actions of others.

the perceptual
responses of the
children with the
spaces and features.

- Striniste and Moore, 1989

LITERATURE STUDY
Cognitively, the children will deduce that the architecture developed by adults without their participation as
two parts: building and outdoor space. They can clearly understand the architecture is man-made and the
landscape is natural. In short, they perceive that architecture is not integrated with the landscape.

In summary, even though we know that experience of childhood in built and natural environments are diverse, but
are often characterized by adult control, restriction and helplessness (Pradhan, 2007). And, the design of spaces for
children follows the standard requirement by the design authority or institutional agency. Such practices did not
allow the views of children to be part of the design process of the architecture.

-Ismail Said , 2010

LITERATURE STUDY
Children
Bonding
with nature

Exploration

PLAY

Smell

Cognitive
faculties

Sight

Audio

Taste
Touch

In middle childhood, children are genetically programmed for exploration of the world and bonding with nature.
That is, they learnt on how the world works in evocative way, their logical reasoning only about concrete objects
that are readily observed. As such the children are active in grasping and understanding the natural world through
play

- Cobb, 1969

LITERATURE STUDY
There are various concepts of the child-space relation. A widely accepted concept is the "awareness of the
place", which characterizes a larger scope and higher synthetic level because it includes other concepts
describing human relationship towards the space. The most cited concepts of this type are:
Binding to a place in space
Identification and
Belonging to a place
Trying to define a place that a child is attached to, it is often said that it is the space in which a child is
happy, and regrets leaving it and feels dissatisfied when it has to go. However, the real reason for a child's
bonding to a certain place in space is that such place has some special attributes.

Wavy wall line and new structures on it as dividing element in


spaces for children and simultaneously a gathering place The
little school, San Fransisco.
-Danica Stankovi, 2008

LITERATURE STUDY
Infants and toddlers need:

Elementary Age Children need:

Safe spaces to explore.

Space to use study skills and complete large projects.

Lots of care and supervision.

Areas to display artwork.

Interesting things to do and look at.

Storage for collections.

Sturdy furniture to hold on to and pull self up with.

Privacy.

Dynamic changing colour preferences

Pre-schoolers need:

Teenagers need:

Furniture, equipment and environments sized for


their success.

Privacy.

Open space to play.


Safe environments that promote independence and
exploration.
Responsibility for keeping their space organized (they
will need your help).
Decision-making opportunities.

Space to study and store school books.

Grooming area.
Some choice, ownership and control of their space
and belongings.
A place to be with friends.

-Sheila Gains, 2008

LITERATURE STUDY

Hierarchies of public space and private spaces as defense mechanism (Newman, 1972)

LITERATURE STUDY

Indicators of Local environment quality - Conceptual framework (Chawala, 2001)

LITERATURE STUDY

Perception of a public space -Haifa A. Al Arasi, 2013

LITERATURE STUDY

Perception of a public space -Haifa A. Al Arasi, 2013

OBSERVATIONS

PHYSICAL

SOCIAL

COGNITIVE

COMFORT

INTERACTION

HOME BASE/SENSE OF PLACE

Fixtures easy to grip, easy to operate

Inbetween spaces in varying scale

Levels easy to climb

Introverted spacial planning

An increase in the number of places within a


space with niches, nooks, bays
Flexible spaces

climatic consideration for living spaces

Hierarchy of open spaces

place has some special attributes

QUIET ACTIVITY
Away from distractions
Visual connect with nature

Spacious enough to avoid crowding


SAFETY
Defensible spatial planning
Lot of supervision

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

IMAGE & SCALE

Freedom of running and jumping should not be


hindered

The exterior of the center appears non-institutional and


welcoming
CULTURAL
Children can see some indoor childrens activity areas

Small level differenves meandering paths to


develop various mental faculties of children

Sense of community, bleonging to a society

Veriety of activities to choose from

Physical link to the community

The scale of the interior appears small and cosy

SURFACE TEXTURE
Reflective surface
Engaging texture with different finishes

MESSY ACTIVITY
SHAPE

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


Predominant Use: The structure was used as
an orphanage till 1968 and now it is being
used as a corporate office space for a
Human resources firm.
Period of Construction: 1955 to 1960
Client : Amsterdam Municipal Corporation
Architect : Aldo Van Eyk

Project Area : 14000 sqm


A house must be like a small
city if its to be a real house,
a city like a large house
if its to be a real city
-Aldo Van Eyk

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


PARAMETERS

The parameters for the assessment of the perceptual aspect of space have been
taken from the book Form, Space and Order- Francis D.K. Ching and are as
follows:
Approach and departure
Entry and egress
Movement through the order of spaces
Qualities of light, colour, texture, view and sound
Proportioning of space / scale with respect to children.

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


APPROACH AND DEPARTURE
A frontal approach leads directly to the entrance of a building along a straight axial path. The visual goal that
terminates the approach is clear.

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


ENTRY AND EGRESS
The act of entering is more subtle and is achieved
through an implied plane established BY colonnades.

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


MOVEMENT THROUGH SPACES
A Linear path configuration has been used within the
building in the form meandering paths attempting to
mimic the streets of Amsterdam.
The integrity of each space maintained
Configuration of path flexible

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


QUALITIES OF SPACE: LIGHT
Views are oriented towards the lawn behind the
structure and the glass walls help enhance the
connect with natural setting while inside.
The site has major roads on 2 sides so the adult
realms act as buffer and shield the children
spaces from the noise on the road.

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


QUALITIES OF SPACE: COLOUR and TEXTURE
The colour scheme is dominantly grey and brick
red for exterior and white and grey for
interiors.
Texture of the exterior walls is of exposed brick
which is rough with occasional smooth round
columns.
There are also some reflective surfaces in the
form of small ponds and glass embedded in
walls

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


QUALITIES OF SPACE: VIEW and SOUND
Views are oriented towards the lawn behind the
structure and the glass walls help enhance the
connect with natural setting while inside.
The site has major roads on 2 sides so the adult
realms act as buffer and shield the children
spaces from the noise on the road.

CASE STUDY : MUNICIPAL ORPHANAGE, Amsterdam


SCALE AND PROPORTION
The structures surrounding the circulation area
are single floor height and G+1 structures are
kept away.
The proportions of the living spaces for the
children have been designed specific to each
age group developing a better sense of
belonging

14-20 yrs

10-14 yrs

0-4 yrs

DESIGN STRATEGIES

PHYSICAL
COMFORT

QUIET ACTIVITY
Place inside every family unit with
interesting daylighting create more
interest in children

SOCIAL
INTERACTION
A hierarchy in interaction
spaces is seen from within
the house to large open
There is a segregation
according to age group
The spatial planning allows
for inbetween spaces in the
for of corners

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Small open spaces prescribed for
CULTURAL
imaginative play and larger spaces for
prescribed play
No special provision for
cultural spaces
Most play areas created void of
greenery

COGNITIVE
HOME BASE/SENSE OF PLACE
Special attributes in form of reflective
surfaces
A home layout instead of a hostel
type arrangement
SAFETY
Supervision maintained through
natural survellience achieved through
tranparent walls intriverted
courtyards

IMAGE & SCALE


The domed roofs give a playful
rhythm to the elevation
Scale of the individual rooms and
overall structure have been reduced
to suite the children
SURFACE TEXTURE
Sufrace texture callous and raw
Variation of texture of glass and
exposed brick with occasional

MESSY ACTIVITY
SHAPE
Variation of shape done in the ceiling
in form of domes rest of the shapes

INFERENCES and RESULT


The observations show that the perceptions of children are very
different from that of the adults .
The spatial organization of buildings appear to have an affect on the
spatial comprehension of children.
Their ability to understand a building with strong visual links between
spaces and is much greater than a building based on a logical
sequence, of cellular arrangement.