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Child's Eye View: A Study into Children's Perspective of Architectural Scale

Part 1 Dissertation 2002
Jennifer Millar
University of Dundee | UK
In designing for children we can easily be blinded to their needs by making our own presumptions about their requirements and often leave them out of the design equation. Through my Dissertation I addressed the understanding that children have of space and their experience of it, By comparing it to adults' experience I have determined a set of guidelines which would clarify the nature of design byond our own immediate perceptions as professional architects and designers.
Jennifer Millar

The student identified a serious gap in research in her field.Encouraged in her wish here to explore the specific nature of childrens' perception in space, the purpose was to advance design methodology. Forty years ago, Professor C.Norberg Shultz (Intentions in Architecture, London, l963) drew attention to the work of Jean Piaget (Jean Piaget and B,Inhalder, "The child's perception of space,"(London l956). Subsequently Jeff Bishop (Kingston Polytechnic, l973), and Spencer and Lloyd (Birmingham), with Brian Goodey provided further findings. Millar here now also draws usefully on 2001 research in the school, as well as critically examining current publication (Child Care Design, by Anita Rui Olds) and currently completed buildings she has by directly organised experimentation in Dundee,accordingly, through mapping child and adult perceptions on a specific site,Miller has provided by analysis definitive and new conclusions. By systematically applying Piaget's cognitive development theory, her very thorough analysis of the subjects' sketches, has provided definitive and irrefutable evidence of how children and adult groups differ cognitively in recording scale, sense orientation, and descriptive method when confronted with a common topology. Miller's findings are able to provide a key set of guidelines for future design architects working in this neglected field, that of the provision of facilities for children.

Mr Brian Adams
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