Education and Architecture: Seeking Grounds for Dialogue

  • Franca ZuccoliEmail author
Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)


The importance of the educational environment, the space in which students spend a significant proportion of their daily lives, is a well-established principle. Numerous national and international studies suggest the need to focus carefully on this dimension, recognising its contribution to, and influence on, the entire teaching–learning process. Notably, key figures in the history of education have long concerned themselves with this issue, albeit from different perspectives: some seeking to offer children a setting reminiscent of the home, in the sense of a familiar environment designed to meet their needs (Maria Montessori), others designing the school building with the help of engineers and architects (Giuseppina Pizzigoni) and still others conceptualising space as the third educator (Loris Malaguzzi). However, apart from a small number of exceptional cases, dialogue between education specialists, educators, teachers and architects has rarely become consolidated practice; most frequently, teachers and learners inhabit spaces previously designed by others and are obliged to adapt to pre-existing environments. It should also be noted that, compared to younger children in the 0–10 years age range, the specific age group focused on in this book, namely, preteens and teens, has not benefited from investment in researching, building or assessing educational environments. Yet, it is precisely in this older cohort of students, who are struggling to define their identity, experiencing constant bodily change and seeking support for their relationship with societal institutions, that direct participation and a joint rethinking of school spaces could make a vital contribution to ongoing personal and collective development.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.“Riccardo Massa” Department of Human Sciences for EducationUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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