In studies of living-satisfaction and when formulating programs of demand only adults are asked questions. What children want is not questioned. The Habitat-index of the ‘Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau’ (social-cultural planning agency) is only compiled with adults in mind. There is a gap in understanding how adults and children experienced their first livingenvironment. Literature study In this study of the effect of the first-experienced living environment is determined how experts from the social sciences, from the design- and building profession and how government agencies have dealt with the phenomenon "bedroom". Profound attention is given to addressing the question of the reliability of the memory. According to Cornelis Verhoeven, memories slumber; memories can be fabricated of which Marcel Proust gave a sublimely poetic description. I felt supported by the words of W.A. Wagenaar: Memories are not to represent the past, but to adapt our behavioral-repertoire to situations we may encounter in the future. Or, in short: memories do not represent the past, but the future. It is not a mistake to forget the past; it is a mistake not to be prepared for the future! The psychology of the environment also teaches us how complex the perception of the habitat is. The focus of the study has primarily been on the qualitative aspects of the impressions one has of their former living environment. Students The prime memory of 200 students of their former habitat has been the starting point of this study. The dimensions they attached could be fitted properly in the dimensions provided by Pennartz (the utilitarian, social and existential dimensions). Subsequently adults were quizzed for their perception of the present-day living environment. Questions about the activities in house were supplemented with questions about communications and relations in their parental household. Adults The adults also indicated which relevance the earlier experiences had for their later choice. Distinctions were made between the meaning of ‘Space’, ‘Feelings’, ‘Functions’ in their earlier habitat and the meaning of ‘Others’ therein. Experiences and memories of older individuals vary significantly, but when quality of the earlier habitat and the atmosphere in the parental-home are compared (if at all possible) then it can be deduced that a ‘cold’ house is not nearly as bad as a cold house-hold. Children Children have been asked how they experience their bedroom and what kind of properties their dream-room would have. Given the limits of their world-view only questions are asked about their own bedroom. Using scaled models developed at Wageningen University, a simulation of both their current bedroom and their dream-room has been build. In accordance with the findings of the study "Children in the Netherlands" by the Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau, these children are very happy indeed. Study of the ‘Gouden Griffel’ (Dutch annual award for the best children’s book-writer) As an aside, taking into account the level of empathy displayed by the authors of children’s books, an analysis was undertaken of the frequencies with which living environs and people are mentioned in all Gouden Griffels. Both the world of children as the world depicted in the Gouden Griffels has dimensions that differ from the big-folk world. Seeing people, animals or attributes transit from one dimension to the next creates a beautiful and at times bizarre world that (luckily) keeps on providing more questions than answers. A Molecule of Experience A molecule of experiences, composed of Atoms and Atomparts of experiences, is developed. This molecule is a useful tool to compare the results of studies into the perception of livingsituations The backgrounds and experiences of adults with their wishes and to incorporate the continued relevance of the earlier habitat. It is striking to observe that memories of the quality of the habitat have a larger significance than memories of the lay-out. Based on memories and experiences one would welcome a different family-life: openness in relations towards others, equality, including partitioning in the work-life. Designers and architects, project-developers, building-corporations, ‘Vrouwen Advies Commissies’, and experts from the sector youth- and family-work (community organizers) can use these results in support of their vital tasks. The specific outcomes of these studies will support all those involved in the design of a child’s bedroom.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||16 Apr 2009|
|Place of Publication||Eindhoven|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|