Flickrum – Places for girls

Flickrum – Places for girls

What can architecture offer those who experience exclusion? Flickrum explores the urban realm from the perspective of a teenage girl. The aim of the project was to develop practical methods for equitable architecture by giving girls an opportunity to design their ideal public space.

Equitable architecture

As cities are planned today, public spaces aren’t used equally amongst girls and boys: until the age of seven, boys and girls use public facilities such as playgrounds equally but from the age of eight this changes. Statistics shows that from this age 80 percent of the users are boys, while girls feel ten times more insecure in public places. We initiated a project to find out why and how to accommodate places for girls in the city.

Project group: White Arkitekter, UngaTur, teenage girls from Skarpnäck Municipality, pedagogues from Skärpnäck Municipality
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Status: Completed 2017
Visuals: Angelica Åkerman, UngaTur
Awards: The Årets Arkitekt(hen) – Architect of the Year accolade, 2018

If young boys make up 80% of the users of shared spaces, how do we design more equitable places that cater to all?

A lack of knowledge
The results are telling: there is a lack of knowledge how to plan and design public places in ways that correspond to young girls’ needs and preferences. The knowledge gap is partly explained by the absence of children, not just girls, in the urban planning process. A more inclusive process would result in a more equal and multifaceted urban environment.

The project group comprised architects and social sustainability specialists from White, Stockholm-based theatre company UngaTur, teenage girls from the youth council of Skarpnäck municipality, and local authority learning facilitators. The outset was an art project; a piece of theatre featuring two teenage girls who are simultaneously constricted and set free by their urban environment to open up a dialogue with local politicians, planners and other stakeholders on public places from girls’ perspective.

A more inclusive process would result in a more equal and multifaceted urban environment.

Moving from dialogue to creation during a workshop held at White Arkitekter, the teenage participants had the opportunity to construct 1:50 models to represent a public space – by and for girls. The public place chosen was a location that the girls knew very well, yet very seldom used. Both project and process reveal their preference for public places with strong character concerning colour and form, places for sitting together face to face, protected from weather and wind, to see without necessary be seen, a sense of intimacy without being constrictive; and most of all, to be able to leave an imprint on their city.

Contact & Team

Anna Ågren

Anna Ågren

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