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Designing with children

October 7th, 09.00-12.00

Design methods for increasing children’s participation in city development processes

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP, 2017), participation is key to achieving sustainable development. However, our experience is that participation is a complex endeavor, especially when you are a small player in a large social system.

This activity contains a set of lectures by alumni from the Child Culture Design program at HDK who share their experiences of working for and with children, which as a social group often is often marginalized when we are designing our cities.

The lectures starts with an introduction by Johnny Friberg, Senior lecturer at HDK and continues with talks by Studio Goja and Qianxin Zhang from Strawbees.

The focus for the lectures is to promote participatory design methods based for working with children, based on an artistic foundation. The over-all issue to discuss is how such methods can help to strengthen the children’s voice in development processes. The lectures take the starting point from the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” (UN, 1989), which will be a Swedish law from 2020. They especially focus on Article 31, which states that all children have the right to:

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

  • Qianxin Zhang is a designer and project manager in Strawbees, which is an award-winning Swedish Edtech company delivering out-of-the-box educational tools. Her work focus on developing children’s engagement in product development process and applying play culture into learning experience. We unleash creativity, boost confidence, encourage experimenting, reading, testing, making, visualizing and realizing ideas.
  • Studio Goja is a design workshop for children, and children’s narrative, with a focus on participation through user-inclusive methodology and the game as a design tool. We believe in all children’s languages ​​as a sufficient source of information and want to work for children to be an obvious part of the process – in design, culture, urban planning, and community development.
    Studio Goja is run by Ida Liffner and Marthe Roosenboom; illustrators and designers, graduated from the Master program Child Culture Design at HDK, University of Gothenburg.

The lectures will be held in English. Short breaks in between Lectures. Afterwards there will be a summarizing discussion.