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Architecture for kids: fun learning creative spatial thinking

Last updated on Monday, August 24, 2020 | By Craig Gibson

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Do you have a young budding Gaudi, Hadid or Utzon in the house? 

In case you drew a blank on those names, they are world famous architects - and thanks to Louise O’Brien of Architecture for Kids School, your children can get practical exposure to learn design thinking and the principles concepts of this discipline. 

Louise wears many hats - design principle at Apsara, an architectural and interior design practice, TAFE lecturer and mum. But she didn’t stop there and wanted to provide accessible, affordable premium design education for children, so they have the skills and initiative to create a better future and reinvent our world. It has taken her time - around 400 hours, to develop the classes and points out she has interest from as far afield as Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Quick read:

    [li indent=0 align=left]Architecture for Kids School has courses and workshops for kids aged 6 to 18.[/li][li indent=0 align=left]Kids learn to sketch, build models, think in 3D, present their work and communicate their ideas.[/li][li indent=0 align=left]All their educators are qualified designers, who are graduates of architecture, interior design, drafting & the arts.[/li]

What will kids learn from your courses?

“The courses will introduce kids to great architects and designers, teach them to think about materials, and how people use a space. They will also build models, learn to sketch, think in 3D, present their work and communicate their ideas. At the end of the day we want them to have fun learning creative spatial thinking.”

How are the courses structured?

“Our school runs in 4 x 12 week sessions and is structured into LABS or workshops. These cover Sustainability, Design, Creative thinking, Model making, STEM/Engineering and 
Technical drawing. Our classes are online delivered via ZOOM. Each week the students are given a brief with design theory, history & drawing instructions.

We also offer short workshops that run over a few days, like our 1.5hrs Lego Hotel build, or our 3 day Tiny Home project where students repurpose a bus into a low impact sustainable home.”

Who are the courses right for?

“The courses are suitable for children aged 6 to 18, but it's not about age really, it's what the individual brings to the table. A 10 year old can do as well as a 14 year old, but you need the right personality, a child who loves projects and is self motivated to learn. I try to treat them like my architect students at TAFE, and you would be surprised to see how sophisticated their understanding of design is - they just need some guidance.”

Do you provide materials?

“It is mostly low tech, we use pencil and paper mostly but kids do also create digitally using drawing software. We also use basic materials for models but can and do also use something like Lego.”

What outcomes can parents hope to see after one of your courses?

“For me it’s not just about deliverables - that is only a quarter of the story. I ask, have they built confidence, are they proud, are they learning about space - the bigger picture.”

Tell us about your educators

“All of our educators are qualified designers, who are graduates of architecture, interior design, drafting & arts - and share a passion for all things design. We also have visiting specialists like modellors and Lego builders.” 

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