The paper explores the dialectical relationship between children and space and the empowering role of space in the development of disabled children. The research presented in this paper was conducted at a special primary school in Athens through participatory design workshops with teachers and children with special educational needs such as autism and Down’s syndrome. The children at the school were regarded as designers of space and were consulted for the design of a creative play and learning environment in their school ground. The findings of the research include an analysis and synthesis of children’s and teachers’ ideas in an architectural plan of a play and learning environment for children with special educational needs. They also include the creation of six spatial categories that a creative play space should incorporate in order to reinforce children’s development and contribute to their empowerment.
- special educational needs
- additional educational needs
- creative play and learning environment
- critical pedagogy of space