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Creators Room

”Creators Room – if the room is unsuitable, the teaching will suffer" is a publication dealing with interior design of rooms in kindergartens for children aged zero to six. In the publication, kindergarten teachers, interior design advisers, and craftsmen show new ways to arrange rooms with respect for the children's development and progress, and that support inclusion.

“Adults are too much in focus” is one of the central messages of the publication; an experimental program within the EU-financed development project "Kids n' Tweens - Play and Learning", based in Spinderilhallerne, Vejle. Overall, Creators Room is about today’s pedagogical vision of inclusion and the need for new ideas, greater flexibility, and more daring experiments with the arrangement of rooms for preschool children. These are needs that the existing furniture catalogues do not meet and that stand out from the typical ordinary practical requirements for ease of cleaning and ergonomic considerations.

In Creators Room, the vision has been translated into two proposals for rooms for children. Rooms that work in the practical world, lead to a greater degree of well-being, and are affordable within the institution's normal budget.
Today, many kindergartens look like this:
Tables built for adult comfort; toys that are out of reach of children; lighting which blinds children when they look up at an adult; large, easy to clean but cold, and uninviting floor space; minimalistic furniture in lacquered beech; and nice but uninspiring white walls, pepped up by jet-black and brightly coloured accessories.

The people behind Creators Room believe there is room for improvement.
Two day care institutions in Odense, Carls Børnehus and Børnehuset Bjørnemosen, have opened their doors to the experiment by, among other things, screening off several smaller rooms within the larger room. Through the use of half-walls and level changes, an environment is created where play can develop undisturbed. And even though we are dealing with an experiment and with a first version of the furnishings made from cheap, natural materials, there is positive feedback of happier children, an overall greater degree of well-being, and of lower rates of sick leave among the personnel.

In Børnehuset Bjørnemosen, a 42 square metre common room was divided up into three parts: a screened-off creative workshop, an elevated contemplation island, and a haven for playing or for passing through. Furthermore, the acoustics and the colour scheme were improved.
In the words of the personnel:
- A three year old girl who had just started in kindergarten was having a very difficult time fitting in. But, with some comforting pillows in the corner of one of the top steps of the contemplation island, she quietened down. Here she could get an overview of the institution, watch the others, and figure out how she could join in their games.

In Carls Børnehus all the rooms were closed down and then reopened as learning-rooms for the institution's 60 children. One of the three rooms, the Workshop Room, was developed and arranged in cooperation with Creators Room:
- We got the room we dreamt of. Much better actually, says Annemette Vest, the general manager. She is particularly excited about the trolleys with materials at child-level, and the bar counter where children and adults work together at eye-level.

Creators Room is created by advisers from the company Base It, development consultant Lene Iversholt, University College Lillebælt, and Palmelund, in cooperation with Aarhus School of Architecture, children, kindergarten teachers, and managers from the two Odense-based kindergartens.