Metadesigning For Children

Sixth meeting held with Hyaesook Yang, Dan Griner and John Wood on 14th February 2022
See a list of all meetings and notes
See the previous meeting and the next meeting
square-50cm-spacer.jpg Phoebus


  1. Hyesook had interviewed Phoebus and he focused on technological issues (just as Lois had done).
  2. This raised the idea that maybe kids understand design as doing things rather than not doing things.
  3. Hyaesook mentioned Papanek's book The Future isn't what it used to be and noted that families seldom discuss real (long-term / big) futures. Discussions of the future tend to be holidays etc.
  4. John wondered whether this also connects to the popular assumption that design solves problems. If so, maybe a primary shift might be towards the delivery of opportunity, not solutions. Are technological solutions a basis for creating opportunities?
  5. Is metadesign a potential way to leapfrog the immediate/narrow debates?

square-50cm-spacer.jpg 20170522 23FTdiesel Driversw 1

  • (we discussed the battleground of trucker versus green vehicle - see above example of 'rolling coal' to express disapproval of hybrid vehicles).
  1. Dan asked how a child in the truck might answer these questions.
  2. John's suggested new question: "How could we re-design adults to be better citizens?"
  3. One problem/habit adults have is to avoid answering difficult questions - but children seem not to have this tendency.
  4. Adults also are able to deflect difficult issues (see the film 'Don't Look Up').
  5. We had previously agreed to interview children using the following four questions:
    • What would your favourite future look like?
    • How could we make the future look like this?
    • Do you have any other suggestions for making the world a better place?
    • Do you have a question for us?
  6. Hyaesook did the interview very informally but plans to be more formal next time (also with 2 other children)
  7. John will also do more interviews.
  8. We had agreed to meet in 2 weeks on 7th December - having gathered some children's answers to the above questions.

For Next Time

  1. MORE INTERVIEWS - maybe also categorise kids (town/country/girls/boys/younger/older)
  2. USE DAN'S BOOKS - maybe use them to locate gaps in the children's books?