'The stars follow the moon' Imagining and being in children's interactions with nature and natural processes

Watson, S. and Coles, R. (2012) 'The stars follow the moon' Imagining and being in children's interactions with nature and natural processes. In: 49th World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, IFLA 2012, 5 September 2012 through 7 September 2012, Cape Town; South Africa.

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Abstract

This paper presents initial findings from pilot studies testing the use of practice-based research methods to capture children's ways of imagining and being in different landscape settings. Research aims to negotiate the disclosure of 'in-themoment' revelations which participants are comfortable to share, and to develop research methods that give voice to the transitory, intangible, imaginative thoughts and acts, generated by landscape experiences. Qualitative data concerning children's environmental perceptions and experiences have been collected through the use of creative, experiential methods-including shared walking, exploring and outdoor play, captured through collaborative film making activities, drawing and writing. These initiate a process of reflective engagement with and between the children to uncover their intentions, as well as the personal significance these kind of experiences held. Three groups of children (aged between 4 and 12 years old) were invited to participate as part of their playscheme, youth club or after school activities. Initial findings indicate that creative and experiential tools facilitate the capture of 'in-the-moment' experience, and can be interpreted through the analysis of nonverbal and verbal communication. The use of non-verbal communication is an important, but not singular, alternative narrative stream generated through this process. Of particular importance, is the child's control of when and how such information is collected. Often revelations appear gradually, thus suggesting the deep significance attached to these experiences, and the difficulty in articulating what may be very personal and individual speculations, daydreams, fascinations, fantasies and magical modes of thinking. These findings contribute to theories and empirical research which supports investigation into the intangible aspects of landscape experience-by investigating landscape experience in transition, in outside places and in shifting natural processes. Conclusions can/may be drawn to advocate the value imaginative engagement entails in the creation of personal attachments to outdoor places and natural processes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Empirical research, Environmental perceptions, Natural process, Non-verbal communications, Pilot studies, Practice-based research, Qualitative data, Verbal communications, Stream flow
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Divisions: UoA Collections > UoA34: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Hussen Farooq
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 13:47
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 13:47
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2324

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