Designathon workshop: How to improve the space for free time using circular design?

What would cities look like if children had a say in their creation? Currently, one billion children live in urban areas. That’s why it should be important for us how children and young people see the city they live in and especially – where is their place (for socializing, informal learning, free time…) in the city? Where is the space for children in the city and what does it look like when they stop going out to the park in front of the house? How they are affected by: lack of green spaces, traffic, and pollution, living in high-rise buildings, isolation, intolerance and unequal, and inadequate access to the use of the city?

Design for a better world workshops within the Next Gen Design platform at Mikser festival, which is dedicated to the education of young creators in the field of sustainable design and design that contributes to a fairer, more humane, safer, and healthier world, will give the youngest participants the opportunity to give us their image of such a city, but will and train them how to become part of that co-creation process.

We invite children between the ages of 12 and 15 to think together with us about what their corner for spending free time in the city could look like. Using the Designathon method based on design thinking and topics structured around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, children learn how to creatively solve environmental challenges through prototyping. In our work, we use Designaton worksheets, various recycled and creative materials, electronics, robotics and programming, making projects in smaller teams.


The workshop consists of four parts. In the first part, we will have a guided conversation with a presentation. In the second part, the children will design their own 3D models of the space in cooperation with the facilitators in small teams or individually, in the third part we will record short video clips in which the participants will present the challenges they face. We will find out what is circular design. How can we use the Designaton method? Why is it important that we actively participate in thinking about the city in accordance with our needs? We believe that a participatory approach that includes children as active co-creators of solutions in the community can have great potential in a solidary vision of the city of the future as a catalyst for urban innovation.


The designaton method combines elements of design thinking and creative education, approaches that are gaining importance around the world, as well as elements taken from the Reggio Emilia pedagogical model, and reflections of the philosopher, psychologist, social critic and educational theorist John Dewey and mathematicians, IT experts and educators Seymour Papert.

It is a carefully designed type of workshop event intended for children where they find, design and present their creative solutions to challenges that are structured around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. So far, we have dealt with challenges within topics such as “Waste”, “Mobility”, “Food”, “Circular Economy”, “Water”, “A city tailored to children”, “Energy”, “Biodiversity”, and “Plastic “.

The workshop is led by the KidHub team from Belgrade, an organization that promotes the creative capacity of children through the implementation of various innovative educational programs with a focus on creative learning with the aim of solving environmental and social challenges. They are partners of the global education program Designathon Works for Serbia and ambassadors of the “Education for Social Innovation” program.

The creator of the workshop is Tijana Jovanović Petrović, MA Communicator, working on the development of co-creative initiatives in education, and especially empowering children to actively participate in society through the creation of sustainable solutions for environmental challenges in cooperation with adults.



May 25

16.00 – 19.00h

Dorcol Platz – main hall