Corvus Design Blog

December 3, 2010

Is winter just better designed in the first place?

In Anchorage, winter starts for real in October, and lasts through April usually (with some last hurrahs of snow into June once in a while). It’s not too much different here than in other climates I’ve lived in (notably Northwest Territories & Saskatchewan), perhaps even being milder in temperature here. The big difference is the amount of sunlight. How does sunrise at 10:00am and sunset at 3:00pm sound to you? So while we have a fantastic winter climate, we need to figure out ways to enjoy it with less light (we have loads of lit ski trails), and especially to celebrate it during the daytime (light-time?) hours.
The pictures I’m sharing here are probably the most obvious winter experiences that I found in my photos (I’m curious why I don’t have pictures of snowball fights or similar, perhaps to protect my camera?!). PLEASE provide your own memories of winter play in the comments for this post. Discussions of meaningful winter recreation/play design (let alone winter city design in general) seem to be few and far between. And specifically for play, I’m sure typical playground equipment is 99% designed for summer. It just goes to show the ingenuity of kids to see how they can re-purpose anything to use in any season. What would play equipment look like if it was designed for all-seasons?? Or is winter the season where play equipment isn’t needed because snow and ice provide the perfect construction medium? If that’s the case, why aren’t we providing media for construction in the summer? Maybe the point is winter is nature’s way of providing ample opportunities for play… and we need to learn from nature for the rest of the year.
We have outstanding access to wilderness, in and outside of our cities.

Ceremonial Iditarod Start in Anchorage

Every hill deserves to be ridden.

Ridden with a good friend.

Accompanied by man’s best friend.

Walking our dogs. I love how winter is their favorite season.

One of the best things in Anchorage… skating on a lake downtown.

The hockey rinks around town… and a fake hockey player.

Leave a comment for us… what are your best winter-time play memories… as a kid, youth, adult or senior!!