Asking the Right Questions
Although we approach the design process seriously and deliberately, there can also be a great deal of playfulness involved, which helps us ensure that nothing is taken for granted. For our youngest learners, the simplest question can lead to endless opportunities for enlightenment and delight. In that same vein, we ask “Why?” a lot. Why are windows 3’ above the floor, over the eye-height of most children? Why must mechanical equipment be hidden in the ceiling above? Why is it even above? Why can’t signage be engaging on an emotional, intellectual, and physical level? These continuous inquiries help us break down the assumptions we bring as adults. They spark new avenues of exploration and guide us through subsequent stages of creative refinement.
While early childhood centers must align with 21st-century approaches that support dynamic, media-rich learning, they can also provide profound and stimulating interactions by incorporating the seven qualities described above. There are many elements adults can influence to help build promising outcomes for our youngest learners. These include, but are not limited to, sensory awareness, healthy habits, and challenging intellectual pursuits. For us, it is physical surroundings that offer the ideal background to support each of these building blocks. Shaped by understanding and created with love, our work strives to balance functional requirements with poetic gestures—creating settings that are childlike in spirit, but not childish in appearance.