Project-based learning to enhance the creativity of children

How the case links to the UN sustainable development goal: 

Children are the future of Kobe. It is our fervent wish that children can engage with real creative educational processes and build a sustainable future for Kobe and the rest of Japan on their own initiative.

  • Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

What Was Done:

Chibikkobe is a creative workshop for children. The concept is to create a “dream town” built by Kobe’s children and creators working together.

Children chosen through a general-public selection process were split into three groups, each categorized by professional occupation; namely, “architects”, “designers”, and “chefs”. The three groups of children were taught and guided by ‘creators’, (professionals from each respective occupation) and then invited to use their newly acquired skills to create “dream shops” from scratch. Over four business days, their new dream town operated as a place exclusively for children, a special place to which adults were not allowed access. A great many children enjoyed participating by doing jobs for which they received a form of payment. They shopped and generally enjoyed life to the full in their very own dream town

How Things Were Done:

With creators based in Kobe, we provide a program to create a dream town for children. From 2012 to 2018, more than 22,000 children, aged 10 to 15 years, participated in the biennial program. Until each dream town opens, about 60 workshops are held and about 100 creators including designers, architects, and chefs cooperate to facilitate this program.

Target Level of Education:

Basic (compulsory) education (ages 10 to 15)


Project budget from Design and Creative Center Kobe

Materials Used in the Project:

The Chibikkobe Charter condenses all of the most important philosophies of the Chibikkobe program and acts as a guide and signpost for all adults taking part in the program.

Good Practices:

The children learn that creation is a process of trial and error and about working from scratch. This provides deeper insights into the creative process and gives them opportunities they would seldom have in a traditional academic context. Another key point is that children engage not only with creators, but with children of other age groups. There are limits to what one can do alone, or what one child can create, so communicating actively with people of different ages and walks of life through Chibikkobe lets them learn how collaboration leads to ideas that cannot be generated alone. By working with many people, they can create fascinating things that go beyond their wildest dreams.

Challenges We Faced / Things to Develop:

How to evaluate the growth of creativity; mid- to long-term changes through the program


Contact Person 

Kenji Kondo