When Kids Design Neighborhoods

Coriandoline, a housing development in Correggio, Italy, is the first to have been designed primarily by children. The award-winning neighborhood boasts themed houses and "built-in playability."

"The first phase began in 1995 with a research project involving 700 children from 12 local nursery and infant schools. 50 teachers and 2 child psychologists worked together with a group of 20 architects, engineers, surveyors, builders and carpenters: talking to the children, taking them on trips to learn about architecture, encouraging them to draw, building models with them."

"Turning children's abstract fantasies into concrete reality was the next step, one which was by no means an easy task for Luciano Pantaleoni and his colleagues, 'When we started the planning phase, we realised we faced an enormous risk. On the one hand we could have fallen into the trap of creating something banal - houses that looked just like all new houses, with token 'corrections' providing superficial concessions. On the other hand we could have gone to the opposite extreme and end up creating a sort of fairytale playground which had no meaning as a part of the town. We wanted to create an area which could be exploited and enjoyed by the whole community, but which used children's experiences and needs as a parameter for quality.'"

Full Story: "Soft on the inside, hard on the outside"

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