1st Edition

Creating a Sense of Place in School Environments How Young Children Construct Place Attachment

By Sun-Young Rieh Copyright 2020
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    Creating a Sense of Place in School Environments guides its readers to the characteristics that tend to generate a sense of place through children’s vivid descriptions of their school and provides a body of critical information that can be employed to design a better school environment that can imprint cherished childhood memories.

    The childhood school environment calls for special attention regarding the sense of place it creates. The sense of place in childhood both affects children's current quality of life and frames their lasting world view. It is well known that children's cognitive development is closely related to their place attachment to their surroundings, and that children’s adaptation to a given environment depends on how such place attachment can be created. Therefore, it is natural that people’s identity in the world is the accumulation of their experience of place while in childhood.

    Cross-checking between the imprint of adults' memories of places in school and children’s current "lived experience" of their favorite school place confirmed that certain spatial configurations, which the author herein refers to as "place generators" can generate positive attributes of physical settings that construct a sense of place and last as lifelong memories. It is an ideal read for academics, students, and professionals.

    List of Figures 

    List of Tables



    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Chapter 2. Sense of Place

    2.1 Definition and Characteristics of Sense of Place

    2.2 Finding Place Generator from Memory Sketch

    Chapter 3. Characteristics of Place for Children

    3.1 General Characteristics of Children’s Perception of Space

    3.2 Characteristics of Children’s Sense of Place

    Chapter 4. Positioning and Framing

    4.1 Positioning for Framing

    4.2 Framing for Questions

    Chapter 5. School as a Memory Place for Adults

    5.1 Aspects of Contemporary School Environment

    5.2 School Place in Adult Memory Sketch

    Chapter 6. Lived Experience of Schoolchildren

    6.1 Children’s Favorite Place in School

    6.2 Interpretation of the Sense of Place of Schoolchildren

    6.3 Cross-Comparison and Presence of Place Generator

    Chap 7. Changes in the School Environment

    7.1 Sense of Place in Schools Without a Playground: Case of Schools in Seoul

    7.2 Sense of Place in Schools Sharing with Community: Case of Dutch Brede Schools

    Conclusion : Toward a "Sense of Place" in School Environments




    Sun-Young Rieh is a Professor in the Department of Architecture, College of Urban Sciences, University of Seoul, Korea. She is also a registered architect in both Korea and the USA. She studied architecture in Seoul National University and earned an M.Arch degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She received the Arch.D degree from the University of Hawaii. She was the Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the School of Architecture, University of Hawaii (2007) and a visiting researcher at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology (2017). Her research expertise includes sustainable environment, gendered urbanism, and educational environments. She has co-authored various books, including Global Planning Innovations for Urban Sustainability (2018), 2030 Seoul Plan Gender Analysis (2013), and The Future of Architectural Education (1999). She is the editor of Boom or Bust?: The Future of Buildings in Teheran-ro District after the Gangnam Building Boom in Seoul (2019).

    'A must-read book that causes every one of us to reflect on the lifelong, powerful impact of our elementary school experience, and every architect to rethink the importance of every single feature designed in a school and its potential to create cherished childhood memories.'  – Kathryn H. Anthony, PhD, ACSA Distinguished Professor, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA


    'Professor Rieh's book is essential reading for all those involved in the design and operation of schools. Drawing on her research in Seoul, Hawaii and the Netherlands, she makes the case that successful school environments aid overall child development, not just learning. Comparisons are drawn between experiences of children in their current schools and memories of adults. The author goes on to examine what she calls "Place Generator" attributes, which can enhance a sense of place, and in so doing, aid the emotional wellbeing of pupils—a timely message.'  – George Henderson, Emeritus Professor of Architecture, De Montfort University, UK


    'Creating Sense of Place in School Environments is a compelling study on the perception of place. Given that people’s conceptual development and comprehension of the world is largely based on childhood memories, the book is a significant and rigorous examination of the phenomenological paradigm, including its ontological and epistemological premises. By employing the memory sketching method, Dr. Rieh’s study also deepens our understanding of this methodology with cross-cultural and interdisciplinary analyses, which is applicable to architectural practice, research and education alike.'  – Dr. Marja Sarvimäki, PhD, Architect SAFA, Associate Professor, Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University, Australia


    'This book is a must read for educators and designers of schools as it reveals the important influence of the design and "sense of place" of learning environments on a child’s development and his experience into adult life and highlights the factors that need to be considered in designing such environments' – Chye Kiang Heng, Professor, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore


    'Finally there is a book not only all school designers will benefit from but also environmental designers who create places for children. It is a scholarly work of theory-grounded, empirically researched and carefully reflected writing. The author argues that creating a sense of place is essential for emotional attachment, and this in turn contributes to children’s cognitive development. Using a phenomenological method, and informed by recent environmental design research, particularly of environmental psychology, the author examined children’s drawings of favorite places in their school environment and provides concrete suggestions for place-making that she calls place generators. The book’s strength comes from the fact that it encompasses case studies in three different countries, is well founded on scientific and phenomenological studies of environmental perception and provides concrete rules for design remediation.' – Jusuck Koh, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture, Wageningen University, Netherlands, and Principal Architect, Oukosdesign.nl


    'As quality physical environment enhances children’s  learning, I highly recommend Professor Rieh’s book as an invaluable reference for School Administrators, Teachers as well as Architects and Designers.' – Raymond W.H. Yeh, FAIA, Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of Architecture, University of Hawaii