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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mass customized child care centres Boccaletti, Stefania

Abstract

In the past few decades the familiar structure of the society is radically changed. Easier and faster migration across countries, the disassemble of the nucleus of families and the raising number of women moving into the labour force have pushed parents to find solutions for the care of their children outside the structure of the family. What once was considered either a privilege for the richest or a forced solution for the poorest is nowadays a need and a right for each member of the society: the creation of quality childcare centres becomes crucial for the well-being and future development of society. At the same time, researches show the importance of the built environment in children cognitive development. Quality spaces provide children with intellectual and social enhancement, which sets the foundations for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. Since the organization and design of spaces in a childcare centre can advance and guide children's learning experience and development as well as communicate to them feelings, values and rules, architecture becomes one of the fundamental languages of children learning process. The collaborative nature of the design of a childcare centre, the wide variety of intervention (from simple infillings to the construction of a new building) and the need to create sensorial and spatial richness, point to a design process able to generate adaptable and flexible spaces that are created through a close relationship with the users. The focus isn't anymore on the creation of a final and invariable product but rather on the design of a system that will define a range of product solutions. To respond to the issues at stake, the research is oriented toward Mass Customization and the application of new technology to architectural production in order to create a system able to respond to the complex and ever changing nature of the typology analysed.

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