MASTER'S THESIS PROJECT

BOOKWORM - SCHOOL LIBRARY SPATIAL PRODUCT DESIGN WITH CHILDREN

 SEPTEMBER 2019 - JUNE, 2020, GOTHENBURG

The Bookworm is a series of school library products that enhance students reading experience by offering them possibilities of different sitting postures and chances to modify the furniture according to their own will. In collaboration with the International School of Gothenburg (ISGR), a group of Year-5 students was invited to join the design process. Designing with the school library users allows them to create something that can make reading in the school library an engaging and fun activity. For more details of the project, you can download the compiled thesis at the end of the page. 

“书虫”是一系列为了提升学生阅读体验而打造的学校图书馆家具。学生在使用家具的过程中可以根据自己的意愿自由组合,同时家具形态允许学生用自己喜爱的姿势读书。设计师和the International School of Gothenburg Region (ISGR)学校的五年级学生共同合作并最终提出了这一设计概念。

In partnership with the International School of Gothenburg Region (ISGR) school library at the Guldheden campus, I had a chance to organize a two-week spatial hacking workshop with Year-5 students aged 10-12. After knowing basic design concepts about form and function, students chose a piece of school library furniture to improve the form and function. They could either make changes to the current furniture or design a new one. Materials gathered throughout the workshop are pictures of students' work and students' writings about the design ideas. 

ISGR school library

To analyze the written material, I established five entries (subjects, attributes, feelings, actions, and critiques) to categorize keywords from students’ written material. The result showed that children liked to read while having their belongings around so that they do not need to get up often. It also showed that calm and joyful are the two main feelings that students often associate with the school library. In regard to reading postures, curling up, lying down was the most mentioned. 

 

From my interaction with children, I summarized a list of design requirements for the product. The ideal product outcome should be something modular so that it can be put together to modify the space. The shape of it indicates various ways of usage. Meanwhile, the choice of color and fabrication implies the feeling of calm and joy.

Design workshop

Written material analysis

I took children's opinions into consideration. By sketching, concept model making, the tubular-shaped product idea was created. The shape of the product has a high affordance that indicates multiple ways of usage. In this way, children's reading is not limited to sit up straight in an armchair but offered more potentials. 

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In the end, I would like to thank librarians, teachers, and of course, all the Year-5 students at ISGR for their support. I am grateful to meet all the kind, open-minded people there. The project would not happen without their help.