"At once cautionary and hopeful, Designing Modern Childhoods is an indispensable and incisive analysis of the special role of the built environment in both opening and foreclosing good futures for kids around the globe." -Michael Sorkin, director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York "From Turkish schools to New Zealand playgrounds and American summer camps, these essays offer a fresh and challenging take on the modern city from the perspective of its most overlooked residents." -Dell Upton, professor of art history, University of California, Los Angeles "This book takes the reader on a richly detailed and imaginative journey into the changing organization and meanings of childhood." -Barrie Thorne, professor of sociology, gender, and women's studies, University of California, Berkeley "This imaginative and original collection will play an important role in enhancing a growing interest in the history and sociology of childhood."
-Peter Stearns, provost and professor of history, George Mason University In Designing Modern Childhoods, architectural historians, social historians, social scientists, and architects examine the history and design of places and objects such as schools, hospitals, playgrounds, houses, cell phones, snowboards, and even the McDonald's Happy Meal. Special attention is given to how children use and interpret the spaces, buildings, and objects that are part of their lives, becoming themselves creators and carriers of culture. The authors extract common threads in children's understandings of their material worlds, but they also show how the experience of modernity varies for young people across time, through space, and according to age, gender, social class, race, and culture. The foreword by Paula S. Fass and epilogue by John R. Gillis add additional depth to this comprehensive examination. Marta Gutman is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture at the City College of New York/CUNY. Ning de Coninck-Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Sociology at the School of Education-Arhus University.show more