October 14, 2010
The slide shows accessible via the link below are a GREAT resource for examples of adventure and natural based playscapes as well as providing critique of physical playspaces and societal associations with play.
The exhibition is: “not intended to be understood as a set of exemplers demonstrating ‘good practice’ to be copied and then transferred to other locations. Rather the exhibition – images and text together – aims to illuminate general principles, values, and understandings that are widely applicable but which come to life in diverse ways in different locations”.
As a landscape architectural practice, we are for the most part a consultancy – and the editorial section of ‘Places for Play: The Exhibition’ lists consultation as often being the moment of conception for problems and downfalls in playground design.
“Put another way, what counts as consultation frequently starts with the wrong questions and proceeds with the wrong answers. This is perfectly expressed in the widespread habit of using play equipment catalogues as the focus for making choices about play spaces……To begin with questions of play equipment is to start in the wrong place. It would be alarming if an architect began a design for a house by inviting the client to choose the sofas”
We learn from comments like this… and in all of our practice, prescribe to the idea of ‘appropriate design’. We spend a great deal of time listening and investigating. Our ideal desired role is as a landscape facilitator, in that we try to help people find the design that is right for them. For play… we like to be playscape facilitators.