Julie Dufour: Design education for kids

Julie Dufour teaches design and architecture methods in schools because she believes it will help children set the design agenda of tomorrow.

Trained as an architect at the Royal Danish Academy, Julie Dufour is currently self-employed. “I teach design and architecture to children and learners as well as educators,” she says. Additionally, Dufour works at the Danish Architecture Centre as well as the Children’s Culture House Ama’r, and she hosts design workshops for children in hospitals. 

Dufour is fond of teaching children because of their wild imaginations: “They have the most wonderful visions and ideas,” she says. “But of course, it’s very important to be able to add form to your visions.”

She works closely with children to give form to their ideas using the tools and language of design and architecture. Dufour also believes that teaching design and architecture to children gives them an early start penning the blueprint of the future. “We should inspire the future generation and there are of course so many ways of doing this,” she says. “But I think designers and architects should to go into schools and teach them about their work methods.”

Dufour says teaching design and architecture in schools is a suitable addition to the curriculum not only as a safeguard for the future of design but also because it ties in with other subjects such as maths. “I might have a child who is not good with books, but the child will understand scale and they will realise: ‘I’m using my maths!’”

Dufour has also co-authored Build, Draw and Learn – with world-famous architects, alongside Marlene Abildgaard. The book provides hands-on activities for children. 

“Until now, it’s been really hard find books with hands-on exercises into the universe of design and architecture,” she adds.