Torun Eggan Skjerve
As a designer, I have always been interested in how people come together in spaces. How do we meet and how do our surroundings affect us? My final project, titled The Secret Garden after Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous book, is an investigation of this. I have created a space for nursery-school children and the elderly, two groups who tend to have little contact with people outside their immediate circle, where they can come together during the day to play, learn, and connect.
Research, both internationally and in the UK, has shown that young children and older adults have a positive effect on each other’s mental and physical health, as well as improve learning ability and overall mood. The Secret Garden works to emphasise these benefits, by making room for people with different bodies, needs and desires and making room for individuality, together. The project focuses on teaching young children core skills while interacting and connecting with older adults, giving both age groups a meaningful way to spend their days.