Survey on Student School Spaces: An Inclusive Design Tool for a Better School
This paper presents interdisciplinary research drawn from architecture, geography, and educational sciences, to provide a comprehensive and intertwined approach to school spaces, communities and learning activities. Pilot survey focused on the collaborative redesign in schools and is actually a way to test methodological tool for assessing student feedback on their school spaces and considering it as input for creating a better learning environment. The fieldwork implied a combination of two procedures: a questionnaire and a walkthrough. The first engages a far-reaching sample of participants and makes use of an online platform, while the latter details and justifies those outputs and involves visiting the school with the participants. The data provided by this tool acted as the basis for the design proposal for one of the case studies, which included the students’ feedback and involved all the community in the school’s refurbishment. This research and publication may contribute towards a participatory design approach in other schools, the validation of the tool per se, and its potential future development and application.
Carolina Coelho, assistant professor at the Department of Architecture of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra. Her Doctoral thesis “Life within architecture from design process to space use. Adaptability in school buildings today – A methodological approach” was awarded “The Glen Earthman Outstanding Dissertation Award” for her Doctoral Thesis in Architecture, which identifies and evaluates adaptability in contemporary active educational spaces. In her individual and group multidisciplinary projects she addresses such issues as adaptability of school spaces; the role of informal environments among classroom spaces. Currently she contributes to a large project CORED (Collaborative ReDesign with Schools) https://www.ncl.ac.uk/cored/, that has an aim to help evaluate the current school learning environment and to identify the processes and tools required to undertake school redesign
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