Our participatory and collaborative approach forms the base of Co-Creating Playscapes

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We believe in the power of communities  to fully make use of community resources, contribute, financially or in workforce,  knowledge and experience.

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Research Studies

We conduct theoretical and applied research in the urban and architectural field, the impact of the physical environment to social and pedagogical behaviour and vice versa.

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Training Workshops

We share our knowledge and experience and are inspired by these interactions. Varying from hands-on workshops for students and professionals, presentations on international conferences, teaching at university and in primary schools, training architects, and training the trainers.

Co-design and Co-build Projects

We co-design and co-build projects, involving children, youth and their communities, in different situations. For example with refugee communities and their host communities; in formal and informal settlements; at schools and in entire neighbourhoods; in temporary and permanent settlements.

Consultancy services

We advise governmental entities, (social) entreprises, or Non Governmental, formal or informal organisations on their policy and implementation regarding a more child friendly (physical) environment.

Our activities

Urban analysis

Map the current culture of play within a neighbourhood or city. Analyse current play policies. Community guided tours, behavioural and risk mapping.  Research studies and urban analysis of the social, historical and physical features of the  location.

Participatory Workshops

Each project is based on participatory workshops using tailored tools and methods.

• Co-design

Co-design is a way to build dialogues during the participatory sessions with children and their community, helping us to understand the underlying needs and involve the beneficiaries in the design process.

• Co-build

The Co-construction empowers the collaborating children, youth and craftsmen, and creates a sense of ownership.

Sharing knowledge to raise awareness

Via lectures, workshops, publications and seminars – Kroatia, Spain, Tunis, Korea, Netherlands, Egypt, Belgium and online – we share our knowledge & experiences, to raise awareness and advocate for the universal right to play.

Consulting services: child friendly environments

  • Consulting services including need assessment, current culture of play, feasibility studies,  and monitoring and Evaluation studies.
  •  Support Support organizations, entities and individuals who strive for child friendly environments.

Design and offer play elements

We do study, develop and implement playful urban design elements within the city. 

Education of professionals

Teaching Participatory design and child centred design to professionals who are in contact with children and local communities. 

Why ?

1. Life skills

Children gain important life skills and 21st century skills through our projects process, in particular during co-building phase.

2. EMPATHY

Participatory workshops increase mutual understanding and empathy between different groups.

3 . ownership

The community resources -”knowledge and skills”- are mobilized, resulting in ownership over the place.

We develop tailored solutions
and instruments for each unique project

We have developed a method including the following steps in our projects. Each context is unique, so we tailored our design methods  to different contexts and situations.

Form a local team

Building up relations with grassroot organisations/ schools and their teachers/ community based organisations/ hosting community/ key players/ youth organisations/ local authorities, etc.

Urban Analysis

Urban analysis of the social, historical and physical features of the location. Preferably the current user groups helps us analysing, by guided tours, risk-mapping or other participatory analysis methods.

Set the base

> Share realistic information about budgets, circumstances, timeframe, challenges, to have a common basis.
>Participation with diverse groups (e.g. children, youth, caretakers, elderly, refugee & host community) to create a set of requirements: in different ways we find out about the needs and dreams, about the risks and fears.

Co-design

Co-design with a sub group. Having dialogues during the co-design sessions, helps us to understand the underlying needs.

Optimise design

Optimise design. With a professional team, including local professionals, we optimise the designs, according to the technical opportunities, materials, and safety standards.

Feed-back

Feed-back from the different user groups. Process the feedback into the final design.

Co-construct

Co-construct with professional and voluntary local help. Co-constructing a space empowers the collaborating people and creates a sense of ownership.

“For Sharnaqa the process of
co-designing and co-constructing is as important as the result”