Section 1: Thinking about spaces you know


This initial workshop will focus on developing pupil’s observation skills in terms of the built world. They will be encouraged to think about how different spaces make them feel, what they like and do not like about spaces, and what makes them choose different spaces for different activities.


The ‘My Favourite Space’ activity can either be completed in class time to explore spaces in the school. Alternatively or in addition, they can complete the activity as part of their homework they can explore rooms in their own houses.

Time needed

Approximately 20 minutes – 1 hour.


Presentation: What is the House of the Future Competition?

Start by playing the following video to introduce the competition. If you cannot see this video, you can download it in the resources section, or watch in Vimeo here.

Then, begin the session by opening the “HOF PowerPoint 1” presentation so you can tell your students what the House of the Future competition is, explain some of the themes they will be thinking about, and what they will have to make to submit to the competition.

Activity 1: What are your favourite spaces?

Hand out the ‘How this space makes me feel’ sheet. This will be completed individually. They will be given approximately 20 minutes to explore school spaces (without disturbing classes!) to start thinking about their emotional responses to different spaces and consider:

  • What is their favourite / least favourite space?
  • How does it make them feel?
  • Why it makes them feel this way?
  • What would make this space better?

When pupils have completed the activity, ask them to share their favourite and least favourite spaces. Are there any similarities? Why are some spaces better than others?

Activity 2: Cool Wall

Download and print 1 copy of the ‘Cool Wall’ resource. Cut along the dotted lines of the resource to separate the images. This resource is a set of precedent images illustrating spaces inside different houses to encourage them to think what they like about different designs, and explore how to communicate their responses.

Share the images between the groups. Ask the pupils to have a discussion about which images they like or dislike and why. There is white space around the image. Encourage them to write a few words about the image in this white space e.g. ‘too bright’, ‘looks exciting’, ‘looks like a house from Harry Potter!’.

Make some space along or up a wall. Write ‘Not Cool’ and ‘Cool’ on a piece of paper and stick them at alternative ends of the space as below. When pupils are ready, invite them to stick their images along the scale where they think it should go. An example below:

Bring all the pupils together around the Cool Wall. Encourage students to talk about their choices. Why do we really like this design? Are there any patterns that emerge, such as bright colours being popular? How does it make us feel and why? What can we imagine doing there?

Reiterate that we might not all agree on the best design, but we should try and take other people’s opinions on board so that we can design great spaces for lots of people to enjoy.

Download resources

Go to Section 2.

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