ASID Icon - Spring 2012 - (Page 28)
DESIGN FOR LIFE/
Photos: Andrea Johnson
HOME DESIGN WITH LEARNING IN MIND/ A CHILD’S WORLD is largely contained within the walls of their
home: the physical safety of the shelter, the function and comfort of the furnishings, and the example and attitude of the family all shape how a child perceives their place in that world. When designing spaces for children, even if that space is a shared family area, it is essential to consider their unique needs and seek their input. A home’s design will impact how a space stimulates or stiﬂes a child’s exploration of his or her world—no small responsibility. Designing with a basic understanding of how children learn at different stages enhances early learning experiences and builds a foundation for future success in school. According to Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., in his book Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 95 percent of the skills children need to be successful in life are learned at home. Child-friendly rooms need not be limited to bedrooms and playrooms. They can be sophisticated living spaces that consider a child’s interests, age and abilities through thoughtful
space planning and durable, multifunctional furnishings. They are rooms that allow parents to relax and enjoy their homes while having the freedom to say “Yes!” to their child. To achieve this goal, be sure to include the entire family in the initial design meeting. Encourage children to participate in the discussion through open-ended questions, such as: “If your best friend came over today, what would you do in this space?” “What do you wish the two of you could do that you can’t do right now?” Parents are still the decision makers, of course, but facilitating family discussions in this way allows parents to hear new ideas about how spaces could be used.
DESIGN WITH LEARNING IN MIND
Consider basic educational principles in the planning of the home. Young children’s best teachers are their parents; they follow them, copy their actions and work beside them. The whole home is their learning lab.
the magazine of the american society of interior designers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - Spring 2012
New Year, New Approach
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design for life
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ASID Icon - Spring 2012
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