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School libraries are losing visitors since the design lacks children’s participation. Children’s involvement in decision-making has been an international calling, especially after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC) in Sweden in 2020. While in a traditional design process, where the design team makes most of the design decisions, this project investigates the question of how a designer could involve children and be informed by their ideas. Also, it explores the design of physical objects that can motivate children to read in the school library.
This project applied a bottom-up participatory design with children to tackle the problem. The goal of this project is to create a series of spatial products for the school library to enhance students’ reading experience. This project has three phases: research-informed design, idea co-generation, and product development. Specific methods applied in the stages are situation mapping, design for co-design, arts-based workshop with children, qualitative analysis, real-life trial, 3D modeling, rendering, testing with scale models. The result of the project is the Bookworm – embodied library hacking objects. By re-defining the library reading experience with children, the Bookworm challenges the stereotypical image of school library furniture. The product carries values of physiology, cognition, and sociology. It presents a new ergonomic way to read in the students’ favorite postures. At the same time, it offers another definition of library reading activities. Moreover, the potential for space modification changes the choreography between children and elements of the school library.