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  /    /  Objects, Design and Architecture

Objects, Design and Architecture

Research Project

How do things relate to people? And to children? And to stories? While the debate about things and people originally lay in the domain of sociologists and anthropologists, it has now very much entered the intellectual world of anyone who deals with material culture, in whatever form. Children regularly explore and manipulate objects and materials in their environment, as one of the most important activities they engage in during childhood. Exploring and/or manipulating objects and materials are also well-represented topics in children’s literature. The study of objects is therefore intimately related to the debate over children’s literature, children’s agency, the life histories of authors and illustrators, and the interplay between things, children and books. Another field of study deals with home which represents a setting in children’s literature where identities are shaped, connections are established and boundaries are defined in one’s daily interactions with the world. Hence, domestic landscapes in children’s books can portray the ideas, values, feelings, habits and customs of contemporary societies. Architecture and interior design in picturebooks may also be conceived as catalyst engines to inspire social reflections on children’s culture and education.


objects, houses, design, architecture, domestic geographies, object-oriented literary criticism



Campagnaro, M. (2023). Architecture and Interior Design in Italian Picturebooks: A case study of Bruno Munari. In T. Schmiedeknecht, J. Rudd & Emma Hayward (Eds.), Building Children’s Worlds The Representation of Architecture and Modernity in Picturebooks (pp. 125-142). Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781003131755-10-

Campagnaro, M. (2021). Houses and interior design in Italian picture books. Which representations and which values?. In T. Schmiedeknecht, J. Rudd & E. Hayward (Eds.), Building Children’s Worlds, under review. London/New York: Routledge.

Campagnaro, M. (2021). Stepping into the World of Houses. Children’s Picturebooks on Architecture. In N. Goga, S.I. Iversen & A.-S. Teigland (Eds.), Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches (pp. 202-219). Oslo: Scandinavian University Press.

Campagnaro, M. (2019). Sull’abitare. Geografie domestiche e visioni di “genere” nei libri per l’infanzia dagli anni Sessanta ad oggi. In G. Zago, C. Callegari & M. Campagnaro (Eds.), La casa. Figure, modelli e visioni nella letteratura per l’infanzia dal Novecento ad oggi (pp. 79-108). Lecce: Pensa MultiMedia. ISBN: 978-88-6760-683-2

Callegari, C. & Campagnaro, M. (Guest editor) (2019). Home, Lived-In Spaces and Childhood in European Picturebooks from 1945 to the Present Day. RPD Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica/Journal of Theories and Research in Education, 14(2), 1-8. 

Campagnaro, M. (2019). A proposito di stanzucce tutte per sé. Evoluzione degli spazi domestici e raffigurazioni visive nella letteratura per l’infanzia. Pedagogia Oggi, 17(1), 171-184.

Campagnaro, M. (2019). “Narrating” homes and objects: images of domestic life in Italian picturebooks since the mid-20th century. RPD Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica – Journal of Theories and Research in Education14(2), 9-48.

Zago, G., Callegari, C. & Campagnaro, M. (Eds.) (2019). La casa. Figure, modelli e visioni nella letteratura per l’infanzia dal Novecento ad oggi. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia. ISBN: 978-88-6760-683-2

Campagnaro, M. (Guest editor) (2017). Frames for the Body. Spaces and Places in Children’s Literature. Encyclopaideia, 21(4), 3-7.

Campagnaro, M. (2017). From Palace to House. The Changing Domestic Settings of Fairy-tales. Encyclopaideia21(49), 6-28.

Other resources

Architecture & Interior Design in Picturebook


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Illustrazione © di Emmanuelle Houdart, tratta da E. Houdart, Rifugi, #logosedizioni, 2015