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  • Lucy Parkinson

Toolkit for Design

Updated: Apr 2

In the exploration of residential environments for children in care, a snapshot of the current architectural environments in 2016 through desk top and case studies. It was important to explore the economic market to understand how innovation in architecture could happen. The three case studies explored the architecture, economics, and evidence of impact of child care environments. The research from an architectural stance has built a foundation for future exploration. To create innovation in the field this study and conclude principles for future research - 'a Toolkit for Architectural Design'

Secret Efficiency For a successful architectural plan to work it has to be efficient but an obviously efficient plan with regimentedorder can create an institutionalised feel. Avoid designing modular spaces, invest value into each space. Be clever about the efficiency.


Proxemics The relationship between spaces should strictly follow the theory of proxemics; intimate, to personal, to social, to public spaces. This order should be respected and achieved in all internal and external areas of design.


Autonomy Children enter care from horrific beginnings of neglect, abuse and abandonment. They are mentally vulnerable. A child needs to feel control of their environment within a home that they have no control of who lives there.


Transferable Skills Flexibility is one of the most important skills required from the architecture by the supplier and buyer in the care market. It allows the inclusion of family environments and placements for care leavers which need to be included in future architecture.


Staff Importance Due to the importance of staff retention, work rate and sickness, on the market economy and child development, high value needs to be put into staff environments. The design should help keep staff mental health at an optimum.


Engage Community To avoid creating a segregated marginalised group of children community engagement is vital. This is equips the children with social skills needed to adult life. It will also work to improve the stigma attached to children in care.


Implicit Association The theory of association with past experiences which create a bias or sub-conscience opinion on present situations. To avoid association with institutions the scale and the furniture/ fittings need to be designed well. CEBRA gathered a ‘home symbols kit’ to achieve a home environment with all the right elements one would associate with home.


Excellent Design The inhabitants need to know they are valued. The architecture should incorporate excellent design techniques in all elements of architectural design.


Landscape The therapeutic benefit of visible landscape from the architecture can enhance the mental well being of children and staff. There are also mental health benefit of time spend outdoors and in recreational activities from football to gardening.

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