“The Creating Library”

Content and interior for a new children’s library.

How can a traditional children’s library be transferred into becoming a vivid host of cultural arrangements and creative workshops for both school classes and individual visitors? This needs to be done completely from inside, together with the staff, to be practised with engagement also years after the transformation.  

Prototype of the new children's library

The book-lending is going drastically down, so rethinking a children’s library does not only concern the interior, but also the activities that the library is hosting. To imagine new activities, we transformed the library into an experiment-lab, where a school-class participated in weekly workshops staged the library room. Together with the library staff, we explored their experience and knowledge in new settings through design-games, visual tools, and future enactments.

Workshop about the children's library

“The involvement made a lot of sense, as it helped to give ownership among the employees and a sense of security that their professional input had been included – but also challenged and qualified by input from the end-users”

Thomas Thomsen, Leader of Vesterbro Library

The result was a flexible interior for a whole new children’s library, fitted to host a broad range of different arrangements. As a result of our co-design process, 8 moveable playhouses were placed in the library. These can be used for reading, playing, shielding and theatre. Because the arrangements were prototyped in the library-room, it created a whole new self-understanding and ownership among the staff, who took the transformation and refurnishing very much into their own hands. The children’s library is now open to the public and can be visited at Vesterbro Kulturhus.

Children enjoying the new children's library





May 14, 2018