Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2023

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Arief Setiawan


Education is a vital foundation of a society. The standard of today’s school environment is built upon the pedigree of the factory schools from the nineteenth century. However, elementary age children require a flexible, engaging, and creative learning environment that the standard school environment does not provide. Learning is a dynamic and innovative action. Architecture should mirror the learning that it supports through providing spaces that allow for flexibility, engagement, accessibility, and attraction. Children are transformed by the spaces they are in, spaces that will leave lasting impacts on the cognitive development of the children, spaces that can be playful and imaginative for learning. By looking at how play is beneficial in children's cognitive growth and the crucial role that architecture plays in supporting the learning processes, this research aims to explore the architecture of play as a means to support the children's learning processes and cognitive growth. What are design strategies to create architecture that facilitate dynamic learning and pedagogy? What are ways that the physical space can stimulate playful learning through the senses, tactics, and imagination of the children? Constructivist psychological theorists Piaget and Vygotsky argued that children’s cognitive development occurs within physical and social environments. In relation to the notion of learning by doing, promoted by Froebel, Dewey, and Montessori - the benefits of learning-by-doing are refined physical motor skills, improved bonding within relationships, confident self-expression, communication, language, greater independence, and creative problem-solving and thinking. Learning-by-play predisposes a child with the practice of learning-by-doing at an early age, curating a life-long impact. Besides researching pedagogical approaches and theories, this research examines examples of successful designs of school for children. Architecturally, learning-by-play allows children to explore their environment freely, enjoying the physical and temporal space through senses and imagination.