#Playful Public Design by Children | Parents – Our valued partners in the development of children’s creativity

Do you sometimes find yourself trapped in your fast-paced daily routine, following rules and trying to tick all the boxes? Is there still space to be curious, and mindful of things that is going on?

For Hong Kong youngsters growing up in an era of information overload, it’s common to just follow the crowd without discernment.

PolyU School of Design Public Design Lab Associate Lab Leader, Dr. Paul Lo, sees the cross-curricular nature of the Playful Public Design (PPD) project as an opportunity for children to “go out of the box” of each school subject. In March 2019, he led a briefing session for a group of parents of CreativeKids students, inviting them to be our partners in the development of children’s creativity through design thinking. Parents and family are important shapers of children’s thinking patterns, and builders of their value system, which have lifelong impact.

The country park is full of teachable moments for first-hand experiential learning, family bonding and formation of creative thinking habits. In PPD, we had parents physically take their children to the country park to make first-hand observations, facilitated by an “Observation Records” sheet. The involvement of family in children’s journey of exploring themselves and the world, empowers them to proactively make choices, instead of only relying on manuals. In addition, as a group project, PPD allows youngsters to interact with and learn from peers who think like them, and others who think differently.

Overall, Dr. Lo describes that the Project transforms learning from two-dimensional (2D) (passive, spoon-fed) to three-dimensional (3D), a 360-degree experience in which a child actively engages with his/her own observations, and effects caused by people (parents, teachers, peers, etc.), objects and the environment in the learning process.

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