faculty of architecture, sarvajanik college of engineering and technology, surat, india
Undergraduate architecture students, semester 09

Research questions: How does a child adapt herself to the given environment and learn to explore for comfortable territories. How does a child learn to create her own spaces while navigating the given environment? What are the qualities of spaces that are sympathetic to a child’s needs?
Tasks: To identify a child’s actual use of a space, its relation with her image of that space. Two rural and two urban residential neighborhoods were chosen.  Students formed four groups of ten, each student interacted with at least 6 children, (equal number of male and female respondents and 13-15 years of age). Children drew mental maps, and narrated stories of their day-to-day engagement of their neighborhood and beyond. Use of video, sound recordings, model making with children were used to encourage interaction. The spatial qualities of a child’s navigational routes and territories were documented using the emerging themes: spaces of engagement and boredom, known and unknown spaces, hidden spaces, dangerous spaces, beautiful and ugly spaces, holy spaces, etc. were documented.