For over twenty-five years in practice, Architecture Is Fun’s goal has been to achieve a dynamic architecture through leadership in educative design®.
This educative design® ideology – design that educates as well as design that is fundamentally educated – is fulfilled through its participatory nature. Design educates by creating spaces for interactive play, learning, and self-discovery. Children and adults gain knowledge about themselves and the world around them in creative and innovative ways. Design is educated through interactions with the user constituents during the planning and prototyping process.
Collaboration sessions held with local community members and creative sessions held with families help to educate the Architecture Is Fun design team as to the needs and desires of those for whom the space is to be constructed. The resulting design solutions integrate requirements within the critical and distinct phases of childhood and adulthood, which respect multiple perspectives and are informed by varied curricula and an almost infinite array of developmental and social needs. Architecture Is Fun creates 4D programs by mapping experience to function, believing this is the way to interweave values and qualities within more typical architectural programming. In this innovative and distinctive way, participation helps build consensus, accessibility, viability, and relevance.
Participatory design allows the power of play to be harnessed through architecture of complexity, familiarity, beauty, and richness. We have witnessed the positive impact when projects are designed in concert with communities in over 150 educational and non-profit projects we direct — healthcare, homes, museums, playgrounds, parks, schools, and more across the United States and in Brazil. Architecture Is Fun’s success is measurable in both quantifiable and qualitative terms, demonstrating affirmative outcomes for the institutions, communities, families and clients engaged in the studio’s work.
Championing critical architecture and educative design® for children and the adults in their lives is an opportunity to create places of learning, exploration, well-bring, and participation that are indispensable for growth in a critical and sometimes neglected area of practice.