Playground – E
Fig: 1 – Playgrounds as a social space for children.
Playgrounds have been an integral part of our path of growth right from childhood since ages. They are the place, which allows practically no limits for a child to be themselves while offering a safe zone while they continue to be so. Where the world is entirely designed for adults the playgrounds are the social space for kids to engage with kids of their age.
This clearly is the single biggest advantage of any growing up journey, which cannot be compensated by parents, videos or devices. A child requires a lot of activity, not only mental but physical, social sided spheres to engage. And with passing times these spaces are losing relevance.
Fig: 2 – Outdating Play furniture
The problem is pretty straightforward if we see it in the perspective of evolution. Parents are always worried about children not spending time with other kids or spending time on activities that involve physical development. The culprit in this complaint is the devices that usually gobble the attention span of almost every child around the world and it continues to. Attraction to devices that are labelled harmful, is only the half-truth if we inquire about the core reason why the problem persists and is growing.
Smartphones are a high-end piece of technology that has evolved over the decades to serve content that has the ability to get not only children but even the adults to get hooked. What it ignores is the fact that the amount of work put in these devices are incomparable to work put on developing great playgrounds for children to play in. How can we tip the balance again?
Fig: 3 – Abandoning playgrounds - A Reality
The design is to develop a model playground that has the ability for children to play in the times of today. The design exercise can be considered as an update to the traditional playground. This update can involve better furniture, landscape design, technologies or systems that use hybrid mediums and games to keep them engaged.
Fig: 4 – Composing better play furniture - An interpretation
Elements/Features: Designing unique elements and furniture that align with the new playground ideas.
Multi-Activity: Create setups that serve not just one kind of play but the ability to be multidimensional in the short term to retain interest.
Safety/Durability: To build setups that are safe and durable for long term outdoor use.
Updates: How the setup can be changed in the longer run by adding or rolling out new features in the future?
The location of this playground is expected to be in a gated township that has more than 2000 dwelling units and 4-5 plots like this. The size is 30m x 45m located between residential towers of more than 10 floors.
The gated community setup allows high-value playground elements that can be piloted here and maintained in the longer run - thereby paving way for mass release.