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UAL Research Online

Child Imagination, A Talent Worth Keeping: How Children Learned to Stream Their Playfulness Into Their Adult Roles

Antonopoulou, Alexandra (2017) Child Imagination, A Talent Worth Keeping: How Children Learned to Stream Their Playfulness Into Their Adult Roles. In: Technology and Engineering Education: Fostering the Creativity of Youth Around the the Globe. Conference Proceedings . Millersville University, Philadelphia.

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Antonopoulou, Alexandra

This paper examines a partnership between adult designers and ten-year-old children working together on a future orientated design brief. The brief was assigned to them by an imaginary ‘Future Design Board’ (FDB) and involved the several teams (two children one adult each) in developing future objects, exchanging letters with the fictional characters of the board, and coming together to discuss each other’s outcomes. The study is part of the author’s PhD thesis, which explored the consequences of losing the childhood expertise with the onset of adulthood and highlighted the lack of examples where design is recognised as a valuable everyday process for all. In particular, this paper discusses how the process facilitated children to acquire capabilities and stream their playfulness into their adult roles as everyday designers,researchers and story-makers. The analysis involves a review on how the children participants recognized that they have a special talent to share with the adult world that must be retained. At the same time, it reviews the ways in which they became conscious of exactly how their child expertise could be injected into design and research. This is followed by an analysis of the cycles between self-esteem and developing capabilities while collaborating with others. The discussion then delves deeper into how the children participants explored the ethics of public opinion and learned how to infuse their beliefs into their creations. As part of this process play and design allowed children to test ideas and ideals, explore the limits of the designer’s power and comment on highly philosophical issues such as ethics of punishment, freedom of choice and the elusive idea of perfection. The paper involves a critical discussion on how the entire process allowed for the evolution of “whole children” and hopefully, in the future, creative whole adults.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: story-making, design, adult, child, collaboration, agency, skills, play, imagination
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Millersville University
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2017
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2021 14:24
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 14:24
Item ID: 16408
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/16408

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