Building Blocks – challenges assumptions and norms within architecture

Building Blocks places children and their ideas at the centre of a new architecture – to challenge common assumptions and inspire new ways of thinking. Buildning Blocks explores the relationship between architect and client as well as the design process required to translate the child’s wishes and ideas into built form. It also aims to show how a child’s vision of an ideal home or other types of built spaces may differ from the adult norm. A child’s limited architectural reference and ultimate freedom of choice may reveal new solutions for living. It may also challenge adults to think about their chosen environments in a new way by looking beyond the accepted notions of taste, fashion and tradition. .

Färgfabriken’s exhibition concept Children between the ages of 5 and 16 gets invited to take on the role of a client and commission a building. A child or a group of children visits the participating architecture offices, where they talk about architecture, houses and the children’s interests and dreams. The architects then interprets the ideas and giv them shape. The results are presented in a exhibition as large buildings, often in scale 1:1, to be explored by the audience.

Building Blocks was first exhibited at Färgfabriken in Stockholm April to September 2010 with nine groups of participating architects and children. Building Blocks has since then been developed with local cultural institutions, architects and children in Oslo (2011), Berlin (2012), Mostar (2015), Bucharest (2016) and Yangon (2017).


Building Blocks was initiated by Färgfabriken – centre for contemporary art and architecture, and developed in collaboration with the creative studio Medium (Martin Frostner and Jake Ford).At each new site, different parnters have been involved in various ways to make the project possible.