The Small-Scale Prototyping Technique is based on the production of a representation of the physical space in a reduced size and exploration of the environment through puppets.


The Small-Scale Prototyping Technique is based on the production of the representation of a physical space in a reduced size. Children produce small 3D representation of a physical space focusing only on the main features such as walls and main elements such as columns and furniture. They also produce small-scale models of the “actors” within the environment and explore interaction possibilities with the environment. The aim is to draw children’s attention to spatial aspects of the environment, to strengthen their notions of spatial awareness and to train them to incorporate this knowledge in their design ideas.


  • The material models restrict the space of action and through this help the children to concentrate on the remaining movement options that are relevant to the design context
  • Shifting between exocentric to internal perspective allows the children to freely explore the body action in space
  • Models symbolically embody domain-specific constraints through cultural and perceived affordances that suggest particular actions 
  • Models transform into “thinking props” to understand movement mechanics and relationships between person-person and person-space interaction
  • The possibility of crafting the models and puppets help the children to take ownership for them and motivates them to actively participate in the ideation of the situated narratives

Related Publications:

Marie-Monique Schaper and Narcis Pares. (2016). Making sense of Body and Space through Full-Body Interaction Design: A case study. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA. DOI

See Conference Poster IDC'16