The built environment is a great platform for bringing together knowledge from different areas and combining them to understand a relevant, complex part of our everyday. Teaching architecture in schools will raise citizens who understand it as a discipline and in relation to politics and economics, and who know more about public space and ways of contributing to a better city. Student projects have great potential in involving their parents, local communities or governments and peers, and reach many people outside the school. Urban planning is reformed as a more participatory process all over the world making spatial education of all citizens essential. Teaching about the built environment at schools is in many countries slow to catch on. We need a good collection of engaging and educational architecture topics and activities, available in many languages, that make noticing architecture, wondering about architecture, creating architecture fun, challenging and rewarding.
Reason #4 why to teach kids about architecture: Hands on! Building something yourself is a good experience of creating real change in the real world. A ping-pong table changes the way a space is used.
Reason #3 why to teach kids about architecture: Interdisciplinarity. Architecture offers real-life examples of various fields of knowledge coming together. Building a hut is a lot about knowing trees.
Reason #2 why to teach kids about architecture: Inevitability. We can’t get out of space, we’re always in a space. Understanding planar representations of space allows more substantial participation in planning processes.
Reason #2b why to teach kids about architecture: The current moment. As of 2005, more than a half of the world’s population lives in the city. A play city is a good basis for discussion about what makes a city a home.
Reason #1 why to teach kids about architecture: To be a good person. Architecture is a good way of learning how and why to be considerate of others. It might start with trying to think like a chimp.