Future School Architecture - from ideas of The Future School to the space lived in school

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The research sheds a critical light on the making of Danish school architecture 2015-2020. It points to barriers in architects' practices and a discrepancy between the ideas of future schools and the conditions of real life in schools. The use of Henri Lefebvre's theory facilitates insights to overcome this gap through an investigation of how school space is socially produced (Lefebvre, 2016/1974). His theoretical concepts and anthropological approach provide a framework to analyse how ideas of ‘The future school’ emerge and materialise into school architecture, and how teaching practices and lived school lifereflect and express these ideas. The analysis examines the political and societal drivers as well as the cultural terms andbodily perceptions of architecture from the research question: How does future school architecture emerge from ideas of the future school to the space lived in school? The documentation used to answer this question includes pedagogical and architectural briefs, architects' designs for schools, teachers' didactic practices in schools, and pupils' lives with the lessons in the built schools. The methods used are document analysis, field observation, interviews, ethnographic narratives, and a qualitative survey. The research shows that an ideology of ‘The future school’ suppresses the voice of teachers. It shows that teachers aren't allowed to communicate with architects in an architectural school competition at the most critical part of the design process. Findings from post-occupancy studies in three built schools briefed 2015-2020 show massive challenges for teachers and pupils. Pupils who were already challenged are challenged even more, which is in sharp contrast to the visions of the educational and architectural briefs. A further discussion is suggested on how to enhance new social practices in the making of the future welfare architecture that will foster social sustainability and promote care, community and belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEAAE/ARCC 2024 Architecture into the Unknown
Number of pages8
Publication date20 Oct 2024
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • School Architecture
  • Welfare Architecture
  • Henri Lefebvre
  • The Social Production of Space
  • Sustainable Architecture


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