Think it, Sketch it, Show it! - Desire toolkit to transform kids’ visions into city realities

In Desire, our partner 3XN/GXN and subcontractor AGORA have produced a toolkit based on their involvement with Domea.dk in Gadehavegaard, Denmark and with kids from eighth-grade classes at a local school.

Published January 17, 2024

In the heart of Gadehavegaard, a residential area with a vision for transformation, eighth-grade students from the local Ole Rømer School have embarked on a unique design journey. Three theme weeks, under the umbrella of the New European Bauhaus project Desire, have brought about innovative ideas for the development of green areas and empowered young minds to shape their surroundings by actively participating in the design process.

The collaborative effort was led by subcontractor AGORA and Desire partner GXN, an innovation and consulting company associated with 3XN Architects. The experiences from the project have inspired the two partners to develop a toolkit - Think it, Sketch it, Show it! - that will simplify the process of involving youngsters in projects for architects and city planners in the future. The intention is to provide an easy-to-use resource for the implementation of engaging co-design activities with young people.

All three partners have also obtained a unique experience involving local children in defining an irresistible circular society in a social housing area. Ideas and solutions they could not have come up with themselves. Ideas that feed into their further work. Solutions that will inform the further concrete development of the area.

And something of an inspiration for the wider New European Bauhaus movement.

The toolkit is now available. Anyone interested can download the material here

Look below the photo to get some facts about the toolkit!

Learn more in this article from our partner lead BLOXHUB

Gadehavegaard September 22, 2023. Photo: Hanne Kokkegaard

What do you need?

The process extends beyond a single day of engagement and requires specific tools and materials.

Time

Due to the nature of this process, you will need a generous amount of time. We suggest a range of 2-5 days for the on-site workshops + an additonal 3-10 days for visual production. Visual production time depends on number of participants, but expect to spend 3-5 hours per project, depending on the quality you want to achieve.

Space

Depending on the number of participants, a flexible space is suggested where people can move around, rearrange materials and work in a variety of settings, e.g. plenary presentations, team work, large group discussion, pin-ups.

Tools & materials

Papers, pencils, markers, projector, tables, scissors, post-its and a variety of specific tools that are in these pages.

Participants

The format of the workshop has been specifically designed and tested with students (12-17 years old). Despite this, we believe that it can be applied to a wider age range with only minor adaptations. We suggest a proportion of 1-3 facilitators for every 10 students depending on age and abilities.

Facilitators and design team

Facilitators and a design team are a key presence in workshops. They organise and run the activities, while the design team is responsible for supporting the development of participant ideas, translating them into professional looking projects. Facilitators and the design team might overlap or be different depending on the number of participants** and the project’s budget.

Teachers

When working with students, teachers are an invaluable resource. Teachers can help refining design challenges and tasks, making them relevant and approachable. Teachers can also help linking design work to topics that have previously been covered in school, thereby facilitating additional learning processes.

Lisbeth Engelbrecht Jensen, Project Manager at Domea.dk. Credit: Hanne Kokkegård, DTU

Read more about the theme weeks in these stories: