Design as a social practice: the experience of new-build schools

Harry Daniels, Hau Ming Tse, Andrew Stables, Sarah Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper explores the influences of design on the perceptions and actions of students and teachers at four UK secondary schools. Typical post occupancy evaluations focus on environmental issues such as acoustics, lighting and temperature, using predominantly quantitative methods that often fail to explore how different environmental and social factors interact dynamically with users through time. There is also a lack of attention to the ways in which the processes of occupation may shape the experience of such spaces. This paper reports on one area of a wider study that involved case study profiling to document a range of key issues experienced by teachers and students at each of these schools, thus extending previous evidence on the ways in which habitation alters or rejects original design. These findings contribute to the development of a more holistic understanding of the ways in which design may contribute to processes of pedagogic transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2018


  • Design
  • school design
  • school building
  • building schools for the future
  • school environment

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