What is Designing for Children talkoot and why we spent a whole weekend there

by Riin Tark @ 24.01.2018

What is Designing for Children talkoot and why we spent a whole weekend there

We were happy to be invited to be part of Designing for Children Guide Talkoot, which took place last weekend in Helsinki. Talkoot is a Finnish expression for a gathering of people to accomplish a task (Wikipedia), much like a workshop. And the result of this weekend-long workshop is a free Designing for Children Guide meant for specialists involved in designing for children.

This non-profit initiative came together as a collaboration between Finnish designers, companies and Unicef. Unicef has been advocating and promoting the rights of every child, and they have developed tools that help to assess whether different policies, processes and products respect children’s rights. Specialists in the design field had noticed that projects related to designing for children often start without deep knowledge about what developmental and social factors of children should be taken into account. Therefore, the goal was to create a free design guide that would help any individual designer or a company to make better products and services for children, learn to consider the impacts the design could have, and learn about the specific design methods when working with children.

The work groups consisted of experienced design professionals and researchers and experts from different fields, such as cognitive and social sciences, psychology, education, and children’s rights. We are involved with two topics: (1) Encouraging self-expression, creativity, learning & play and (2) Supporting well-being and healthy psychological and cognitive development.

The weekend was full of intense brainstorming and idea formulations but also lots of interesting people, good food and fun. We are thankful of being able to contribute to this meaningful and necessary initiative and believe that this document, being a living one, can only get better!

We call you up to share this valuable guide!