Building Blocks Yangon

Together with children, architects built models and discussed different forms and spaces for living and playing in the city of Yangon.

Building Blocks is a result of a collaboration between an architect and a client, but in this case the clients are children between 5 and 16 years old. Building Blocks investigates the accepted roles in the building process, specifically the relationship between architect and client. It also aims to show how a child’s vision of an ideal home 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. Building Blocks is a fresh way to open discussions about the accepted norms for all buildings. Is dull architecture a product of a client’s lack of imagination, the architect’s failure to inspire or the restraints of the planning process?

In Yangon, Building Blocks worked with 4 architects and 10 young students from a public school in Thanlyin, a growing suburb of Yangon. The children participated in two workshops where the architects encouraged them to draw and design their dream homes. Together, they made models and discussed options for living and playing spaces in the city of Yangon. The architects then attempt to combine the drawings and ideas into a structure, built in a public park for public use. The children can then see their design in real life, thereby bridging the gap between themselves, their dreams, and the spaces in which they work, play and study. The project is being carried out between  Färgfabriken, Swedish Institute and  Myanm/art.

Press the image to read a summary of Building Blocks Yangon!

A group of the architects and primary school students from Thanlyin, a suburb of Yangon. A total of 10 children were invited to participate in two workshops at Myanm/art, a local art space in Yangon. The workshops first introduced the children to ideas behind architecture, showing them all the different ways people can create and occupy space. The architects then invited the children to draw their dream homes or imaginative spaces. These spaces ranged from rocket ships to apartment blocks to castles.

Building Blocks is a concept developed by Färgfabriken and Medium, based on children’s participation in architecture. The project investigates the accepted roles in the building process, specifically the relationship between architect and client. The idea is based on children, between 5 and 16 years old, as clients and commissioners of architecture. Each child or group of children collaborates with different architects. Each architect’s proposal is built in scale 1:1 and exhibited.


Projektet genomförs i samarbete med Svenska Institutet och Myanm/art.