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ArkDes brings Policy for Designed Living Environment to schools

Photo: Daniel McCarthy. 2023.

ArkDes initiates successful pilot project bringing national policy for architecture and design to schools.  Grounded in the policy and the innovation project Street Moves, students are provided with knowledge and tools to influence the public environment.

The Policy for Designed Living Environment is founded on the belief that good design, coupled with a conscious approach to architecture, form, design, art and cultural heritage, contributes to a sustainable, equitable and less segregated society. While traditionally the domain has been mainly explored by the industry, municipalities, and authorities, ArkDes is now taking the initiative further by initiating a pilot collaboration with schools. The aim is to equip students with knowledge and tools to influence the development of their shared environment.

Leading the charge is Anna Whitlock’s high school in Stockholm, which participated in a pilot project during the autumn term of 2023 involving 150 high school students, teachers and principals. To anchor the project within the school and provide teachers with a clear starting point, students, teachers and study counselors received training in Politics for Designed Living Environments as well as a presentation of ArkDes’ Vinnova-funded innovation project, Street Moves ↗. The goal of Street Moves is to ensure that all of Sweden’s streets are sustainable, healthy, and vibrant by 2030.

During the autumn term, groups worked on six streets near the school, addressing the same questions as in Street Moves: how can this street become more sustainable, healthy and full of life? Students conducted interviews at site and needs analyses. With the experiences gained from the pilot project, ArkDes will process the material, with the ultimate goal of making it digitally accessible so that more high schools across the country can utilize it.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to equip students with knowledge and tools so that they can shape a shared and sustainable environment through architecture, form, and design in the future,” says Madeléne Beckman, Curator Learning at ArkDes, who together with her colleague Olle Lundin, Design Process Leader at ArkDes, led the pilot project.

Photo: Daniel McCarthy. 2023. Badhusgatan, Södertälje.

Street Moves website

At Street Moves website you can access the lessons that have been generated in the project.