The motivation for the future direction of the research project is to provide playful spaces that will enrich and bring wonder to a child’s everyday life. They will serve as moments of relief, within compact and fast paced environments. It is intended the Research Major Project be a network of play spaces designed to act as archipelagos for play communities.
In our current situation with COVID-19 restrictions many have had the time to re prioritise. Being limited to places we have been reminded of the value of little moments. For children playgrounds were blocked off. So where did they play?
Play is important to the health and wellbeing of children. Due to the increase of screen entertainment/ distractions children lack physical play. In addition in highly dense areas, such as large cities children don’t have child friendly places to play. Places that do accommodate children (schools, day care, healthcare) are relegated with low levels of independence. Children gain independence through play, without direction or supervision they are able to learn skills to thrive in life. Therefore it is important that play be embedded in a child’s everyday life, building appreciation for the simple.
Schools and surrounding communities
Children walking to and from school to engage with, generally children around 10-11 and above have the necessary skills to be safe on their own.
Although it will be aimed at children, the project also hopes to be an encounter that surprises and ignites playfulness within anyone who may stumble upon it.
These spaces are to be situated along regular walking routes as to embed it into our everyday lives. They will be specifically located around chosen schools, in high density residential areas. For example the Carlton Primary School and its surroundings have been investigated to isolate points where people are required to stop and look.
Potentially the same designed system could be employed in other suburbs surrounding the city. Therefore creating a playful connected walking network that assists in the social construction of the city.
A reason children are less independent parents are more fearful for their safety. It is important to recognise safety regulations as well as situating the project in sites that are surrounded by overlooking businesses or institutions to create a village culture.
The potential excavation of land will have to be carefully considered, balancing taking away and giving back of the earth. This process will include consulting council, obtaining historical and present information on parts of land.
Researching what captivates children in order to design specifically for them. In addition looking into past playground design to assess successful elements.
Undertaking further site analysis into the landscape and what lies beneath the surface will help to inform the design of the playscapes, and uncover materials or existing conditions to be enhanced.
The explorations will continue to test materials and their reactions with sun, wind and rain through prototyping and model making. In addition there will be a deeper focus on the movement of parts to design kinetic structures.
1:1 Kinetic parts
Animations of moving parts and potential uses
Film and photography
Site and community mappings
Drawings, interior visualisations
Comic, everyday scenarios