How does a room full of cardboard boxes help children learn?

Add to Scrapbook

Hacking your way to learning success: exhibition shows how pupils can design their learning spaces.

  • What’s it like to be a nine-year-old furniture designer?
  • How does a room full of cardboard boxes help children learn?
  • Can designing your school help you feel more settled in school?

An exhibition looking at how school pupils and teachers can use simple tools and exercises to improve the spaces they learn in, is running at The Lighthouse, Glasgow until 14 October 2019.

The Learner Journey exhibition looks at how the Tests of Change programme, promoted by Architecture and Design Scotland, has helped schools across Scotland test and implement changes to their learning spaces, testing them through ‘space hacks’.

Case studies

Check out the case studies of the four schools here:

Clydebank High School  How do learning spaces support learner voice and choice? 

Craigbank Primary School How do learning spaces support children’s wellbeing?  

Newton Primary School How do spaces respond to the changing needs of pupils?  

Our Lady of the Missions (OLM) East Renfrewshire How do you build a culture of collaboration? 

Download the overall handout here


Testing New Ideas

Speaking about the exhibition Diarmaid Lawlor, Head of Place at Architecture and Design Scotland, said;

“Our focus is to help explore and test ideas for new and existing spaces. The process gives the learner a sense of ownership and makes the most of the spaces we already have. This exhibition showcases the learner journey from four schools. It features the Tests of Change process which uses high impact/low-cost, sustainable interventions any school can use to improve their learning and teaching environments.”

Co-Designed Furniture

A special feature in the exhibition is the display of furniture that was co-designed by pupils and Glasgow-based designer Alice Jacobs, founder of Flux Laser and CNC Studios. Alice worked with pupils from Our Lady of the Missions Primary School to draw up a brief, test ideas and to help make some of the furniture. Speaking about the benefits of the process Ms Jacobs said:

“Co-designing furniture solutions with primary age children was something a little out of the ordinary! The pupils get the opportunity to think differently about design and how they approach furniture – they can see it is achievable to create their own. The furniture doesn’t need to be bought out of a catalogue or off a shelf. They can go out and learn the skills so they can create it themselves.”
The Tests of Change process builds on the ‘Inspiring Learning Spaces’ initiative delivered by the Scottish Futures Trust and funded by the Scottish Government.

Share your thoughts with us @ArcDesSco #learnerjourneyscot


Here is a video of pupils from Our Lady of The Missions, East Renfewshire, making the furniture that they have designed:

The exhibition on Level 2, The Lighthouse, runs until 14 October. The Lighthouse is open daily from 10:30 – 17:00, and 12:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

Learner Journey Case Study

Architecture and Design Scotland works with schools across the country. Our focus is to help explore and test ideas for new and existing spaces.

Scroll to top