User participation in the planning of Art and crafts studios in new school buildings in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Didactica Norden (ADNO). 2023, 17 (3), . https://doi.org/10.5617/adno.9271
This article addresses users’ opportunities to participate in the design of physical learning environments. The research questions are as follows: How do teachers experience user participation in a planning process for the Art and crafts studios in a new school building, and in what way do choices at the level of details affect teaching and learning conditions? In this case study, studios for Art and crafts in one Norwegian school have been studied, and four Art and crafts teachers were interviewed about their involvement and experiences in the planning process. The findings show that disregarding users’ specific suggestions may negatively affect pupils’ learning. The mindset of the design disciplines, in which solutions are adapted to users and their experiences and not vice versa, is valuable and transferable to planning processes for school buildings. The process of gaining insight into and documenting users’ knowledge and experiences should be systematic and structured to provide improved solutions. Art and crafts studios’ potentials to function as intended and as effective learning environments can be exploited more easily through an assessed, systematic and creative process that focuses on users. The article suggests that service designers should be invited to operate and bridge the gap between school owners, architects, and users.