The world is continuously moving toward a phase where technology meets architecture. Traveling and looking around, you see buildings in innovative concepts, astounding consumerism, skyscrapers, commercialism ideologies, and more. You could wander about what’s connecting the concepts of architecture and child psychology.
Thinking out of the box, art for art’s sake
Sounds very interesting, right? These demands are likewise challenges for architects to beat what is the norm, think outside the box, and design buildings with limitless creativity. However, because architects are also subject to business deals and commands, they have to adjust and move according to what these interests want.
Naturally, human beings are born with senses, and part of this is able to appreciate what’s around them. Buildings are, at most times, utilized for practical purposes of shelter, or as a place of work, but these must be able to exude true meaning. Architects are known to design based on objectives, and not just for the sake of consumerism.
Basing these designs from children’s psychology will offer beautiful results. Previous studies have revealed how the designs turn out to be better and more appealing when done from the perspective of a child’s mindset.
Children are innocent, unaware of many realities in life, and their perception of the surroundings is young, unchanged, immature, and not prone to influences. At the end of this piece, you will be able to:
- Understand architecture for children
- The relationship between architecture and human psychology
- Comprehend what rehabilitation architecture and stability mean
- See how to design small architecture for children
- Take a look at the best samples.
Architecture for children
The child’s mind is playful. Architecture for children, in line with architecture and child psychology, may be defined in many ways. First, it may refer to how architects command their tools to come up with designs based on a child’s perspective. Thus, simple, easy-to-understand, and idealistic.
Second, it may also refer to architecture intended for children. How does one design a toy store different from a dress shop for moms? How does one design a family-friendly community versus a community for more mature individuals? How does one create a theme park with the concepts attractive to children?
Third, architecture and child psychology can also pertain to outdoor accessories and furnishings that both children and older people will love. These may include dog parks, benches, tables, and pet stations.
Architecture and psychology
Architecture and child psychology are two broad fields of study, though these two are not very difficult to connect. Previously, you have learned how human emotions change with the changing of the surroundings and how they relate to one another. We’re expounding on this a bit to discover more about the art and its correlation with child psychology.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a source that has been present since the 19th century, preceding the World Wars, psychology is defined as the science of mind and behavior. It also refers to the study of brain and behavior concerning a particular field.
Is there value on each other’s concepts? Yes. Know that design could go beyond creativity. Architecture is art, mathematics — and science.
Buildings and how they look impact the way humans interact and think. People can read patterns, and it is the architect’s work to ensure that the design follows solid principles. One of these is known as the Gestalt principle, duly related to the interaction between architecture and child psychology.
This principle talks about how the human brain mirrors daily surroundings in such a way that it is wired to identify symmetry and balance in line with the general whole, hence appreciating visuals. These principles are founded and grounded on similarity, continuity, proximity, closure, and figure.
One of the best examples would be the durian-shaped building located in Singapore. Known as The Esplanade, this building officially attributes itself to the popular fruit in Southeast Asia, the durian. However, it is very different in terms of the building’s size, and without knowledge of this fruit, you would not be able to make the identification.
Gestalt principles trick the brain into following illusions, making it believe that this is what the person can see. Humans have the natural way to deconstruct these into the most direct meaning. The elements of balance, lines, depth, and illusion come together.
And then, you have the psychology of color. Did you notice that many food chains and restaurants have a red color? Red symbolizes thirst, hunger, and the need for something. Brands and companies have taken advantage of the color to attract more customers.
Children psychology in rehabilitation architecture and stability
Now that you’ve offered a glimpse of child psychology and architecture, we are taking this learning up a notch higher with rehabilitation architecture. Going through the different countries and continent words, it makes it easy to understand. Recovery through rehabilitation is the end-goal, but there are challenges conquered, learning curves, and habits that must be done correctly and consistently throughout the process.
Does architecture re-shape and refocus the mind similar to being rehabilitated? Yes. Architecture is also about healing. Spaces that heal have stunning visuals that do not burden the well-being of the person but more of relaxing them.
In the path toward rehabilitation, healing prevails. The person learns from their previous mistakes, recovers, and makes the change. Architecture has the power to shape human psychology, and utilizing the technique to base every design from child psychology, you delve into themes of youth, playfulness, and curiosity.
In the next parts of this piece, we take a look at specific samples of these architectural elements for children — from playgrounds to dog stations.
Designing small architecture for children
Dominating architecture and design are these small architectural features created for children. These may include playgrounds, dog parks, tables, benches, and dog stations. Creating these pieces takes effort and time, which is why architects are investing time to ponder how they will have them designed, built, and presented.
Architecture and child psychology are two considerations that come into the scene when dealing with creating these pieces. In 2018, children or those aged 15 years and below comprised 26 percent of the global population. And, you have been a child at a point in your life, too.
Children have memories of various spaces. It includes playing around the library in your community, or the closest playground to your house. Architects consider these when designing a small architecture for children. They are contributors to molding perspectives; thus, the need to think and re-think, and find ways to feature energy and empathy in the creations.
“Memories like these contain the deepest architectural experience that I know. They are the reservoirs of the architectural atmospheres and images that I explore in my work as an architect,” Swiss architect Peter Zumthor said.
Universal laws for determining what’s a good design and what’s not should not be confined to strict conditions. Principles from this must be comprehended, though, to encourage discussion, promote learning, and have nature involved along the way.
Playground zone and use
The benefits of playgrounds are plenty. These are where your children develop their early motor skills and interact with their school classmates and friends from the neighborhood. Playgrounds are where children and their parents, relatives, and family members gather in a different space involving nature.
With these playgrounds, they are freer to move, promoting self-confidence and self-esteem. Many community playgrounds are free admission, which increases the chances for these children to utilize the spaces for engaging their imagination into the activities. These playgrounds are also partnered with health-related organizations in the quest to combat childhood obesity.
What is a playground zone? Playground zones are common signs that indicate you are entering a playground area. This is a small architectural feature that can be conveyed through the design of open parks and playgrounds. It alerts motorists and drivers to take caution within the area since children frequent playgrounds.
There are various considerations when selecting and building these playground features. These include:
- Freedom to move
- Knowledge and learning
Safety is number one, and this has been the goal of every playground zone installed in the area. Without safety, architecture better be non-existent. It involves the use of quality materials. Then comes opportunities for play. Being able to play is the children’s right. Spaces conducive to these activities must be abundant in your neighborhood.
The adaptability of the architectural space means being able to sway according to how they are needed. Are the eco-parks going to be used for teambuilding? Or, these will be more about a picnic of the family with children? With these come spaces where people are free to move around. Lastly, they must be conducive to learning. Are the plants you see around child-friendly parks labeled with scientific names?
Parks design for children including dog parks
Children’s parks that allow pets are trendy nowadays. The rising population of pet-owning individuals needs these spaces that are created exclusively for them since there are individuals who might find themselves not very convenient around these animals.
To design the best of these parks, one must consider the kind of play. It may include active play, sensory play, imaginative play, creative play, reflective play, and social play. For instance, the popular Mind Museum in the trendy area of BGC in Taguig City, Philippines, is an indoor showcase of crafts intended to develop the child’s learning. This leans toward reflective play more than active play.
Second is the sense of place. Parks that have the most definite sense of play are those that also talk about the local culture and the “community spirit.” It may include symbols that are native or local to the community. Benches may be painted with colors that tell you about the personality of the locality.
Multifunctional park features are also getting more popular. Gone were the days when monkey bars were for hanging, slides are for sliding, and so on. Now, some chairs and benches have the dual purpose of where park visitors may sit down to rest, and act as the complementary decor of the larger area.
Then, you can also utilize your artistic skills to feature hideaways and passageways that are not directly revealed on the map layout. The passageway to a lagoon or mazes that lead to a picture spot for opportunities of taking photographs may be included.
Flow is also a design principle. Visually and along the path, park visitors and children should have continuity of movement that coincides with the patterns of design, unless otherwise part of the entire art. Treehouses, hopscotch, or slide features are recommended transition pieces from a particular zone in the park to a different area.
Similar to a high-interval workout in the gym, zones for different energy levels must be designed carefully. It will prevent younger children from trying out a playground facility that may be too huge for them to handle. Then, you may also consider designing according to traffic. Work with nature, work on sustainability, and feel individuals’ movement once the park is completed.
Small architecture for children — benches, tables, and dog stations
Benches, tables, and dog stations are not just about their purposes, but also about giving a visual spectacle. Imagine a park without spaces where park visitors can rest. Or, open areas frequented by visitors bringing pets without stations exclusive for pet use. Aside from it being a disorganized affair, it is a step back from aesthetics.
Great aesthetics involve these small pieces that complement the design, giving a visual break from greenery or lifeless continuity of horizons. Take, for example, a coastal stretch by the beach without accessories like volleyball nets or huts. It will look like an underdeveloped area.
There are several groups, institutions, and organizations advocating for improving architecture for children and introducing them to the field early on. Unless you have relatives who are architects, designers, or urban planners, there are instances you may be unaware of what architecture really is.
How old were you when you heard about the term “architecture”? If, for instance, you are in your 30s and were able to discover the in-depth meaning of architecture, will you have a child-like perception of what the field is all about? You have seen how architecture and child psychology go together, and we cannot wait to see how you will implement this in your future projects.