DESIGNER COLUMNS & BLOGS / Architecture Is Fun

Posted in Architecture Is Fun on January 13, 2015 9:48 am EST

Top 10 Resolutions for 2015 Children’s Space Design

Architects Peter and Sharon Exley share ideas to help fuel a child's creativity and nurture her gifts in 2015.









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TAGS: architectural design, artwork, collaboration, education, placemaking, youth ministry,


By Peter Exley, FAIA, and Sharon Exley, MAAE, ASID

While shaping New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition dating back to the ancient Babylonians, let’s think about 2015 as the time to fuel creativity in our children. Let’s help provide the right environments and experiences for kids that nurture resourcefulness, spark imaginations, and empower them.

Here are our top 10 resolutions of how we might design a more caring and creative year for our children.

#10 Be Free 
It’s been said that we are the last generation to have grown up playing in unfettered environments where we ran free. So help our children find participatory places, indoors, out-of-doors and offer your child time to “fly free,” space to make her own discoveries, and time to be herself.

The child who gets lost is also the child who finds herself.

Shown here, the Exley's Treehouse Chapel at St. Chrysostom’s Day School in Chicago. Image ©Doug Snower Photography.

#9 Make Mistakes
 Stanford researchers share that children who are afraid of failure are less likely to think creatively. Praise her effort, not her errors. Help her “fall forward,” try again, and find a new approach; all ways to learn from our mistakes and to learn to “be a good sport.”

To err is human.

#8 Get Good and Messy
 Find room for messy, wet, dirty, and muddy play; if not indoors—venture outside. Let our kids make their mark. Crayons, chalk, glitter (lots of glitter), play-doh, art-making, and muddy strolls.

Make a mess.

#7 Look Closer
 See your child as the original person she is. Take your cues from her interests and passions, even when she pursues them in her own way, which might not be the norm. As Dr. Seuss says, “You are unique and remarkable.”

Look at life with different lenses.

#6 Be a Model of Creativity
 How are you creative? Do you cook, sew, draw, garden? Show our children how you think and wonder, wonder and think. Play together.

Be creative together.  continued >>