chapter  3
The Aims, Scope and Method of the Design Matters? Project
WithHarry Daniels, Andrew Stables, Hau Ming Tse, Sarah Cox
Pages 26

Design Matters? is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between academic educationalists and practising architects. One of the major challenges of the Design Matters? project was to develop a methodology for systematically analysing the relationship of school space to the experiences of students, teachers and parents. The physical environment seems to be the focus of school post-occupancy evaluation. As an activity system, the various aspects of which work in mutual relations towards broadly agreed social purposes. The policy discourse of schooling comprises messages largely sent from politicians and interpreted by the general public, including teachers, students and parents. Within-school discourse comprises largely messages sent by teachers and interpreted by students, and is thus likely to have the greatest direct effect on students. ‘School connectedness’ is a concept that has been used in a variety of ways as an attempt to identify the psychological ‘fit’ of students to the school environment, encompassing elements such as health, security, social relations and self-esteem.