Designing with Children

Books and Papers

Adams, E. (1990) Learning through Landscapes: A Report on the Use, Design, Management, and Development of School Grounds. London: Learning Through Landscapes Trust.

Aitken, S.C. (1994) Putting Children in their Place. Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers.

Awan, N. Schneider T. and Till J. (2011) Spatial Agency: other ways of doing architecture. Abingdon: Routledge.

Bhabha, H.K. (1994) The Location of Culture. London: Routledge.

Blanchet-Cohen, N. and Rainbow, R, (2006) ‘Partnership between children and adults? The experience of the International Children’s Conference on the Environment’, Childhood, 13(1), 113-126.

Carruthers, P. (2002) ‘Human Creativity: Its cognitive basis, its evolution, and its connections with childhood pretence’. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53, 225–249.

Chawla, L. R. (Ed.) (2001) Growing Up in an Urbanizing World. London: Earthscan Publications

Craft, A., Gardner, H. & Claxton, G. (Eds) (2008) Creativity, wisdom, and trusteeship: exploring the role of education. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1998). Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life. New York. Basic Books.

de Bono, E. 1992). Serious creativity: Using the power of lateral thinking to create new ideas. New York: HarperCollins.

Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process (Revised edn.), Boston: D. C. Heath.

Dewey, J. (1938) Experience and Education. New York: Collier Books. (Collier edition first published 1963).

Driskell, D. (2001) Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth. London: Earthscan Publications.

Edmiston, B. (2010) ‘Playing with children, answering with our lives: A Bakhtinian approach to coauthoring ethical identities in early childhood’, British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(2), 197-211.

Finke, R.A., Ward, T.B. & Smith, S.M. 1992. Creative Cognition: theory, research and applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Francis, M., Cashdan, L., and Paxson, L. (1984) Community Open Spaces. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Francis, M. and Lorenzo, R. (2002) ‘Seven Realms of Children’s Participation’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 22, 157-169.

Gardner, H. (1993). Creating minds. New York: Basic Books.

Hart, R. (1997) Children‘s Participation: The Theory and Practice of Involving Young Citizens in Community Development and Environmental Care. London: Earthscan and New York: UNICEF.

Hope, A. (2005) ‘Panopticism, play and the resistance of surveillance: case studies of the observation of student Internet use in UK schools’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 26(3),359-373.

Horelli, L. (1998) ‘Creating child-friendly environments: case studies on children’s participation in three European countries’, Childhood, 5 (2), 225-239.

Hughes, B. (2002) Playworker’s Taxonomy of Play Types, 2nd edn. PLAYLINK.

Huizinga, J. (1955). Homo ludens: A study of the play element in culture. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Kinchin J. and O’Connor A. (2012) Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

LeDoux, D. J. (1996). The emotional brain. New York: Touchstone.

Lynch, K. (1977) Growing Up in Cities. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Mainemelis, C. and Ronson, S. (2006) ‘Ideas Are Born in Fields of Play: Towards a Theory of Play and Creativity in Organisational Settings.’ Research in Organisational Behaviour: An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews Research in Organisational Behaviour: 81–131.

Mannion, G. (2010) ‘Children’s participation in school grounds developments: Creating a place for education that promotes children’s social inclusion’, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 7(2), 175-192.

McDonnell, J. (2012) ‘Accommodating disagreement: A study of effective design collaboration’, Design Studies, 33(1), 44-63.

Mezirow, J. (1985), A critical theory of self-directed learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1985: 17–30.

Moore, R. C. (1990) Childhood’s Domain: Play and Place in Child Development. Berkeley: MIG Communications.

Negus, K. and Pickering, M. (2004). Creativity, Communication and Cultural Value. London: Thousand Oaks. New Dehli: Sage.

O’Sullivan, E. (2002) 'The Project and Vision of Transformative Learning', in E. O’Sullivan, A. Morrell & M. O’Connor (eds), Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning: essays on theory and praxis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1-12.

Petrescu D. (2012) ‘Relationscapes: Mapping Agencies of relational practice in Architecture’, in City, Culture, Society, 3, 135-140.

Runco, M. & Albert, R. (Eds) (1990) Theories of creativity. London: Sage.

Russ, S. W. & Fiorelli, J. A. (2010) ‘Developmental approaches to creativity’, in J. C. Kaufman and R. J. Sternberg (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity volume 1, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Russ, S. W. (1993). Affect and creativity: The role of affect and play in the creative process. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Sawyer, K. (2007). Group genius. The creative power of collaboration. New Yourk: Basic Books

Smith, P.K. (2010) Children and Play. UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sternberg, R. (1999) Handbook of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sutton-Smith, B. (1997). The ambiguity of play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Till, J.( 2005) 'The Negotiation of Hope', in: P. Blundell Jones, D. Petrescu & J. Till, (eds) Architecture and Participation. Spon Press, Oxford, pp. 19–42.

Ward, C. (1978). The Child in the City. New York: Pantheon.

Ward, C. (1988). The Child in the Country. London: Robert Hale.

Willis, P. (1990) Common Culture: Symbolic Work at Play in the Everyday Cultures of the Young. Westview Press: Boulder, CO.

Winnicott, D. W. (2001). Playing and reality. London, UK: Brunner-Rutledge (first published 1971).

Wood E. and Attfield J. (2005) Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum. London: Paul Chapman.

Woolner, P. (2010) The Design of Learning Spaces. London: Continuum.

Zimmermann, C. and Morgan, J. (2011) ‘The possibilities and consequences of understanding play as dialogue’, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy. 5(1), 46-62

Guides to involvement in school design

CABE (2004) 'Being Involved in School Design: A guide for school communities, local authorities and design and construction teams'. Online. Available:

CABE (2010) 'Our School Building Matters'. London: CABE. Online. Available:

Coventry University (2009) 'Involving Pupils in School Design: a realist’s guide for local authorities and architect's. Online. Available:

Cunningham, A. (ed)(2006) 'Designs On My Learning: a guide to involving young people in school design'. Glasgow: The Lighthouse. Online. Available:

Seymour J. with H Cottam, G Comely, B Annesley and S Lingayah (2001) 'School Works Tool Kit'. Online. Available:

Rudd, T, Kirkland, K, Perotta, C and Harlington, M (2010) 'Thinking Space Futurelab'. Online. Available:

Rudd, T (2009)' Reimagining Outdoor Learning Spaces'. Online. Available:

Parnell, R. (2010) 'School Design Involvement'. Online. Available:

School Redesign Guides

Sanoff, H. ‘A Visioning Process For Designing Responsive Schools’. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. Online. Available:

Sanoff, H. ‘School Building Assessment Methods’. Online. Available:

Sorrell, J and F. (2005) Joinedupdesignforschools. London: Merrell.

Hards, A. ‘Design Quality Indicators for Schools Question Cards’. Online. Available:

Children’s and young people’s participation

CYPU (2001) Learning to Listen: Core Principles for the Involvement of Children and Young People. London: Children and Young People’s Unit, DfES - Department for Education and Skills.

Driskell, D. (2002) Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth: a Manual for Participation. London/Paris: Earthscan/UNESCO

Kirby, P., et al. (2003) Building a Culture of Participation. London: DfES - Department for Education and Schools.

Lansdown, G. (2001) 'Promoting Children's Participation in Democratic Decision-Making'. Innocenti Insight, 6. UNICEF. Online. Available:

Percy-Smith, B. and Thomas N. (eds) (2010) A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation: Perspectives from Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.

Save the Children (2003) 'So you want to consult with children? A toolkit of good practice'. Online. Available:

UNICEF (2006)' Child and Youth Participation Resource'. Online. Available:


Architecture Centre Network

Bristol Architecture Centre

BCSE – British Council for School Environments


Children’s Rights Alliance for England

Creative Partnerships

Creative Wit

Design Share

Die Baupiloten

Engaging Places


Grounds for Learning

Learning through Landscapes

Media Activities and Good Ideas by, with and for Children (MAGIC)

Participation Works

Partnerships for Schools

RiO - Real Ideas Organisation

Save the Children Alliance

Save the Children, UK

School Works


The Scottish Government

The Sorrell Foundation

Further Inspiration

OECD PEB Compendium of exemplary education

A-Z sketchbook for school build and design

Play blog

Initiative Baukulturvermittlung für junge Menschen( Built Environment Initiative for Young People)

My City Too – Youth Participation Programme

Rethinking Childhood article

Playce – An international association of architecture education

Live projects network online resource