Our childhood is filled with memories of us spending time outside in parks or grounds, surrounded by nature and immersed in our play. This time had a powerful impact on our mental and physical development as we reminisce in its memory. But the manner of play has evolved drastically over the last few decades. Digitization has altered the landscape of play for the upcoming generation of kids. Technological interventions and gadgets are overwhelming kids’ lifestyles as it is an important part of their everyday life. But the duration of indoor play of video games has increased and screen time has created an imbalance in the life of children.
To generate a healthy lifestyle, the activity schedule must satisfy physical, mental, and social needs for well-being. The experiences of digital play are enticing due to its newness and novelty, so it is important that physical play is also made to be as engaging and attractive for kids.
How can outdoor play be transformed to make it inviting in the advanced climate of tech play?
Playgrounds and parks have always been popular destinations for children and families. Apart from the natural setting, the infrastructure of the play area is an important attraction factor of the place. Traditional play areas consist of simplistic elements of movement that are uninteresting to kids in the modern, fast-paced, technology-driven world. In today’s times, the challenge lies in creating experiences in the physical world that are just as engaging as the virtual environment. There is constant evolution in the technological interface, and we need to make sure that this change is also conducted in the design of the physically built environment around them.
The times have changed from when simply being outdoors in the warmth of nature was sufficient to amuse children. The built environment around kids has the ability to influence them in different ways. Outdoor play is essential and it can be propagated through innovative and interactive design.
Can a new type of play structure be designed that can invoke excitement and a sense of exploration among the kids?
Designing for kids is not an easy task. The design process is undertaken by adults, with children being the end-users and therefore, it is a huge responsibility to deliver high-quality designs.
The challenge of the competition was to design a play structure for children that can be installed in a public park.
Parks and playgrounds are hubs of social activity, especially for kids. Hence it is essential that these play areas are inclusive, accessible, and stimulating. The installation will foster a sense of community by creating a piece of equipment for the shared public land. The design should ensure that the artificial landscape created is safe while giving the kids a chance to explore, learn and grow. The visual impact must be exemplary with standout features.
The aim was to create a structure that is inventive and would challenge the kids without any singularly functioning elements. The structure design must establish a connection or harmony with the natural surrounding it is placed in.
The jury for the competition consisted of esteemed designers, professionals, and academicians from around the world. The Lead Jurors for the competitions were as follows:
Gonzalo Iturriaga Atala, Architect, IA ARQUITECTOS, Chile
Some of the Best competition projects are as follows:
Winning Project: Plug’n Play
By: Kaan Buyukmihci, Ceylin Hundal, Semin Erdem & Can Müezzinoğlu
Description: This project is driven by the main purpose of creating a free/creative/unique playground experience for children of all ages.
Jury Comment: It seems to me that the proposal is very interesting, conceptual, spatial and complies with an interesting constructive logic that allows generating from 1 element, multiple possibilities of uses and spaces. An element capable of easily responding to different places. Without a doubt the best proposal. The presentation reads very well, just as the name quickly hooks on a simple and consistent idea or concept with the assignment.
People’s Choice: Integrow
By: Osman Zinnur Melikoglu, Ahmet KELEŞ, Betül Şen & Alim Battal
Description: Designed as a game from design to installation, Integrow aims to interact with all its users, especially children, and to grow with this interaction.
Jury Comment: Although it proposes a constructive logic with a material. It seems to me that formally, it does not present new approaches to design and possible explorations. The presentation is clear in its concepts and variables used.
Editor’s Choice: Barrel Game
By: SiMinJasmine Lee
Description: The future design of a playing set for children needs to situate itself in the trend of virtual entertainment that continues to be the most significant development of the current society. Barrel Game, a system of rib tectonic structure, aims to become an opportunity to explore the threshold between seemingly contradicted artificial and natural worlds.
Jury Comment: One of the best proposals. A clear element, from its pieces and parts. The presentation is clear in its definition and approach to the project. It is rare that the axonometric has a color palette and then in 3d it is different.
Editor’s Choice: Apple Castle
By: Anna Kiparis
Description: Nomadic castle landing near apple trees. The castle is an imaginary nomadic, floating around with the telltale to children from different parts of the world and landing near an apple tree. These favored fruits grow almost everywhere so an apple tree was conceived as a fairy portal to multiple objects all over the world.
Jury Comment: Limited and well-specified proposal. Well graphed and drawn in general. It is missed to have been able to address from the proposal a larger space to be used and not as specific as proposed. Understanding the proposed context.
Editor’s Choice: CHILD GAME
By: Wipawee Ruangsittidejkul
Description: The design concepts were berek game which was one of the most popular children’s games in the traditional polish games and national games. The main idea of this game was circulation. It had free circulation and children had to subset their parents consisting of 1) Layer one was the waiting area of parents and playground of children 2) Layer two and layer 3 were the playground of children.
Jury Comment: Interesting proposal. Simple but consistent around the elements designed and proposed. Good graphic quality in general.
Editor’s Choice: THE LITTLE PIECE
By: Olga Akopyan & Maria Tsumerova
Description: Creation of a playground on which the child creates space by himself. The vertical beam or the frame is the starting point, then the child himself decides what to do. The game has an endless number of options.
Jury Comment: It presents an idea around a simple but interesting construction system with possibilities for formal and material exploration. But other elements appear with ceilings and supports foreign to the proposed system. Therefore there is a disconnection in the two proposed elements. They appear to be two different projects.
Editor’s Choice: SWIRL
By: Gülsüm Karahan, Ahsen Zeynep Doğan, Baha Tekin & Haticetül Kübra Saraoğlu
Description: Once you enter the Swirl, you start to explore many different areas for playing which also Swirl triggers your imagination and allows you to create your own game!!
Jury Comment: This is interesting. It addresses the issue of being able to develop multiple spaces and uses. It seems to me that it could have advanced a little more in the material development, so maybe avoid the catwalk and build everything through the mesh that, finally, is the one that defined the game.
Editor’s Choice: Challenge Ground
By: Münir Keleşoğlu & Habibe Senkal
Description: Children’s Playground is a creative area that lets children play. In order for the project to have an environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recyclable structure, it is foreseen that production can be made with the use of recyclable bioplastics.
Jury Comment: Interesting proposal. Especially in the black section. There is something very interesting there. In general, a good idea, but a bit chaotic in its final development.
Checkout all the top entries here.
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