Our interior design workshop called SpaceSquat designs cozy community areas for the students and teachers of our school. Our methods are “design thinking” and “participatory design”. We also organize fundraising events, record videos to cover the expenses of the construction.
We started with a pilot project without any money – we wanted to test the reactions of the people. We worked from what we had: recycled materials and unused school furniture.
The result, before and after:
The school’s community appreciated or design and we got lots of positive feedback. So we started a fundraising campaign and designed a second community space:
During the design and fundraising process:
Behind the scenes:
After the success of the second community area we had to rethink and redesign our first project from temporary to heavy-duty.
This is the result, before and after:
During the whole process I had a lot of conversations about the project and its possible outcomes and many new perspectives emerged. It turned out that designing community spaces at school is not only (or not primarily) about interior design but a lot more. Students experience that:
- they are able to influence their everyday surroundings
- new ways of using the old spaces effects the behavior of the community
- they acquire responsibility while they design and maintain the community space
- working in a group is more powerful than working in alone
- communication is key to motivate passive or destructive students to take action
- they can build something concrete, something tactile through a democratic design process
Watch our video!