Workshop with 335 primary school children in The Netherlands: What is needed to improve the IEQ in their classrooms?

Philomena M. Bluyssen*, Dong Hyun Kim, Annemarie Eijkelenboom, Marco Ortiz-Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


To identify current problems in the classroom and to conceptualize design solutions by primary school children to solve these problems, 335 children from seven primary schools participated in a workshop held in the Experience room of the SenseLab, comprising of two parts. In part 1, the children were asked to think about their own classroom at school and to choose an IEQ-problem in their own classroom that they are bothered with. In part 2 of the workshop, the children were asked to imagine they are an inventor or scientist in 2040 with all resources available and to make a design for the future. The content analysis of the problems and solutions appearing in the drawings and the written text resulted in 5 themes (light, noise, temperature, air and other than IEQ) and 16 sub-themes (11 for the problems and 5 for the solutions). Noise-related problems were most frequently reported (58%), followed by temperature (53%), air (22%), and light (16%). Girls reported more problems than boys, which is possibly related to a better recollection of negative feelings towards those problems in their classrooms. 47% of the children proposed solutions related to more than one IEQ-problem. Solutions ranged from existing solutions, for example headphones to protect against noise to far-fetched solutions such as send noisy children away by means of a rocket. The outcome showed that children can be valuable contributors in co-designing ‘new’ or ‘adapted’ classroom environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106486
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Classroom
  • Generative tools
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Primary school children
  • Workshop


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