The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - NEWS - With edi­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Le’go of your kid­die imag­i­na­tion for fun

A few months ago, I was re­quired to at­tend a man­age­ment train­ing course to help ease my way into the edi­tor’s chair.

One of the fo­cus ex­er­cises in­volved build­ing the tallest pos­si­ble struc­ture us­ing only some dried spaghetti, string and mask­ing tape so that it would sup­port a rather large marsh­mal­low.

Given my back­ground in writ­ing about de­sign I thought I might have an ad­van­tage, but I freely ad­mit that my team failed hor­ri­bly.

The fa­cil­i­ta­tor ex­plained that in other tests, the most suc­cess­ful group by far were kinder­garten chil­dren who took a cre­ative and lat­eral ap­proach to the task, mak­ing weird, won­der­ful — and suc­cess­ful — struc­tures.

And it’s made me won­der how dif­fer­ent our build­ings would be if we in­vited young chil­dren to de­sign them.

I sus­pect that rather than fo­cus­ing on how a house should look, we’d end up with build­ings based on func­tion.

Devel­op­ment Con­trol Plans would be set aside in favour of homes that were en­joy­able to live in, that em­braced a lit­tle bit of fun, per­haps in­clud­ing fea­tures like in­door swings or even tram­po­lines in study ar­eas to help stim­u­late think­ing.

I’d love to see kitchens or bath­rooms de­signed by kids.

Who knows, per­haps they would dis­pense with th­ese rooms al­to­gether in favour of cooking sta­tions and wash­ing cor­ners for each room.

It’s an in­ter­est­ing thought given most ar­chi­tects are not con­sid­ered to have hit their stride un­til they reach their 60s.

Imag­ine how amaz­ing our world might be if we tapped into the fluid think­ing of so­ci­ety’s youngest mem­bers and put their ar­chi­tec­tural ideas into prac­tice.

It’s worth think­ing about next time the kids are play­ing with Lego.

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