Education and architecture. Young people's perspectives and dialogues for a better understanding of built environment


  • Ana Rute Costa University of Oporto
  • Sofia Marques da Silva University of Oporto
  • Francisco Barata University of Oporto



Architecture, society, education, citizenship, empowerment


This research aims to understand young people's prospects on the the spaces they inhabit and how these spaces affect their ways of living, through a qualitative ethnographic case study. An incorporation of knowledge from the disciplines of Architecture and Education is proposed, combining their relevance methodological, epistemological and social strategies in order to provide socio-educative strategies around and from architecture. The ethnographic research is taking place in a school in Oporto's city center, with students from the 3rd cycle of basic education (7th to 9th grade, between approximately 12 and 15 years old) different research techniques are being used – participant-observation, semi-directive interviews and focus group discussion. The objective of this research is to understand the perceptions of young people about the built environment and how can they relate to it. Subsequently, through these perspectives, a global vision of architecture will be discussed and questioned, as well as, its social, economic and political potentials, considering young people as social actors and authors, clarifying how can they have an active role in improving building environment, using architecture as tool for citizen education. In this article we present a preliminary analysis of focus group discussions that give us some clues for further research development. In this intermediate stage of research we can point to the existence of a direct relationship between the level of power over a given space and the satisfaction level, that is, the more young people appropriate spaces, the more they identify with them.




How to Cite

Rute Costa, A., Marques da Silva, S., & Barata, F. (2014). Education and architecture. Young people’s perspectives and dialogues for a better understanding of built environment. ARCC Conference Repository.