In this modern age, where one can experience rapid urbanization and automation, the design and architecture of buildings seem limitless. Yet in this modernization, spaces for children’s learning and development are overlooked. Although the infrastructure is transforming rapidly there is a question that requires an answer; does our built environment fulfill a young child’s need- physically, mentally, and cognitively? Children perceive their physical environment in a very distinctive manner- this means that they learn and develop skills through play, and if Nature is integrated as the crucial element, learning can be hastened up.
Eduwik Architecture Excellence Awards 2022 (Students)
Third Award | Institutional
Project Name: Space-The Third Teacher, Impact of Built Environment on Child Development
Project Category: Institutional
Studio Name: Architecture
Design Team: Faraz Iqbal
Area: 2450 Sq.Ft (227.60 m2)
Location: Karachi, Pakistan ( or can be implemented in any region)
Photography Credits: *
Other Credits: *
Thus, emanates the fact that a child learns and develops through Play in a Natural Outdoor environment. Integrating playful children learning space into open urban spaces or urban parks can serve hands-on exposure and can be experienced at different times of the day, hence making it a Space- The Third Teacher.
A prototype is developed which can be implemented in any public zone or urban park regardless of one selected site. The constraint lies in the fact that some work is being done in neighborhood parks. However, neighborhood parks lie in immediate residential zones and are easily accessible by the target audience (age 1-6) in comparison with any public zone or an urban park. Therefore, any park, specifically a neighborhood park, which lies within the residential zone has the potential to be the base of this prototype. This Prototype is based on three modules.
Module 1 is based on the physical development of a child and is named as Play-Pod. Playful and live problem-solving activities are incorporated in this module encouraging a child to engage physically and mentally.
Module 2 is based on the active learning of a child which develops the brain and gross motor skills of a child and is named as Learning-Pod. The enclosed space on the lower level is a convertible space and can connect to the outdoors. The colorful counting screens help a child to learn in a playful manner. This pod acts as an active learning room during school hours, and a gathering space for parents and children in the afternoon and evening, where they interact with each other and grow together as a community.
Module 3 is based on the sensory experience of a child to master the 5 senses and is named as Sensory-Pod. A herb garden, sensory grass pit, and a live music area have been integrated where they get the hands-on experience that develops their cognitive skills and senses such as sense of touch, sight, smell, and hear.
The three modules can be plugged together and can make playful and unique forms according to the need, area, and shape of a neighborhood park.
The idea is to dissolve the boundaries and take a journey towards the future of learning. To incorporate play as a tool for the learning and development of a young child. To make connections between inside and outside, and integrate nature for a better learning experience based on the concept Play, Learn and Grow.