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The Den City project introduced children to concepts that connect the natural and made worlds in the process of their learning like design, construction, ecology, democracy, citizenship and sustainability. Their investigation of dens built by animals, birds and insects introduced the children to the natural structural forms that have evolved to meet the need for shelter.

The children were introduced to natural and manufactured materials for use in building their own dens and this involved them in experimenting with ways of joining such materials together in building the den.

Finally, the scale of the project work moved back from micro to macro with the children selecting a site on which to build their own dens and then, working in groups, they started the process of construction and inhabitation of the dens they had designed.  

The importance of ‘den building’ in the lives of children is highlighted in the statement “There should be compulsory den building in all primary schools” which was a statement  made by Professor Charles Quick as part of his contribution to the Farrell Review – “Our Future in Place”  

This collection of images documents the project work, funded by the Arts Council of England, as part of an ongoing collaboration between artists from tasc, students and staff from Manchester School of Architecture and working with children and teachers from primary schools in Manchester and Salford.

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