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School children play at being architects for a day


A bedroom inside a fishtank was just one of the inspiring entries in a children's design competition run by Blackheath-based Trineire Design last week. The project was a collaboration with the John Ball Primary School and involved weekly 'tutorials' over two months by Trineire architect Ted Aston. It has been so successful that the school has included it as part of its art and design curriculum.

Sixty pupils aged eight were given a brief to design their 'perfect bedroom'. Working in groups of three, they each produced a model of their existing bedrooms, then as a team had to develop and agree a final concept in the form of a 'presentation drawing'. The final stage was to produce a finished model and a written evaluation of the project, their ideas and how they had found working as a team.

The exhibition, which was displayed as part of Trineire Design's open practice during Architecture Week, shows bold enthusiasm and imagination. One group designed a room on a giant daisy, and another produced a bedroom with a glass sleeping capsule protruding from the external wall, because they wanted to 'really sleep underthe stars'.

The project evaluations would make interesting reading for a fully fledged architect, and the problems encountered by the children would certainly be identified with. Describing how her group had worked as a team, one little girl said, 'We worked out to be a bit funny, and a bit fussy too, but then we got a bit better'.

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