Reflection on Workshop Facilitation for Classroom Renovation Project

The objective of the workshop I facilitated was to understand the needs and desires of children with developmental learning disabilities. The project was an interior design initiative aimed at renovating a classroom. Instead of a traditional approach, I focused on interactive and participative design.


The participants in the project included children, teachers, a social worker, and the director. However, the children were the main stakeholders in the creative project creation.


The main method used was the Double Diamond, but each phase of the process involved different techniques. In the Discover phase, I used Observational Research, Questionnaires, Interviews, and Group Discussions. The Define phase involved Data Analysis and Goal Setting. The Development phase included Brainstorming, Drawing and Presentation, Role Play, Participatory Design, Peer Review, and Co-design. Finally, the Delivery phase consisted of Prototyping, Picture Generation, Virtual Reality (VR) Prototyping, User Testing, Feedback Loop, and Iterative Design.


The main outcome was understanding the needs and desires of the children. I introduced them to the topic, gave them the opportunity to role-play as architects, and allowed them to propose their classroom designs. Their peers then reviewed each proposal, and they used stickers to indicate likes and dislikes. After a discussion, they proposed a new classroom design as a group, respecting and considering everyone’s proposals and critiques from the previous step. AI classroom prototypes were then generated, and the children rated each proposal. In the final stage, a few days after the initial workshop, the kids were given VR glasses to test the proposal and provide further comments, which will be used for design iteration.


The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. One child ran to his mom shouting that he just had the best class in his life. This was a humbling experience and a very rewarding feeling. Other kids were happy that they had a chance in decision-making and the creative process. Directors' feedback is expected by the end of February.


The children were very interested in the topic and were very proactive and creative. I am confident to say that I successfully created an atmosphere where they could feel secure to express themselves and to communicate with me and each other openly. Despite their diagnoses, I managed to keep them focused and entertained.

One challenge was respecting the time I had set for the workshop. Since some tasks like Crazy 8 took the kids too long, this was limited to only one proposal. In the future, I would consider using other methods and giving more time for the workshop, although it’s hard to keep children focused for more than two school classes. I would also include teachers more in the process since their needs were only considered in the research phase and not in the design itself, which might be important since they also need to be comfortable in the classroom space.