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Which clippings match 'Playground' keyword pg.1 of 2
06 MAY 2013

Earth houses give pupils refuge from Heathrow noise

"Buildings originally designed for earthquake and emergency zones in Asia and Africa are now being erected in London playgrounds to shield schoolchildren from the noise of aircraft landing at Heathrow. ...

The superadobe design was an invention of the Iranian architect Nader Khalili, originally with a view to lunar settlements but first employed in a refugee crisis after the 1990–91 Gulf war, before answering the needs of west London's noise–afflicted schoolchildren. The buildings can withstand tremors with a magnitude of up to 5.7. Their domes are also immune to the damage occasionally wrought on local homes' tiled roofs by vortices from incoming jets.

The headteacher, Kathryn Harper–Quinn, estimates that when outside, teachers are rendered inaudible to pupils for 25 seconds in every 90. 'I've been very concerned about the effects of the noise on the children's learning,' she said.

In the huts, she added, 'you can still hear the planes but you can also hear your own voice'. She said that as outdoor learning was both valued by teachers and a statutory part of the curriculum, staff had developed strategies to deal with aircraft noise, including the use of whistles to alert children who could not hear when teachers were speaking.

She said it was also important that the adobe structures were a refuge for children outside lesson times. 'When kids are playing they are also developing their language skills, and in the playground again they're being interrupted.'"

(Gwyn Topham, 22 April 2013, The Guardian)

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adobe structuresaeroplaneair traffic • aircraft landing • aircraft noise • airport noise • amphitheatre • built environmentchildren • dome • environmental noise • excessive noise • flight-path • Hounslow Heath • hut • inaudible • infant school • Iranian • Julian Faulkner • Kathryn Harper-Quinn • kidslandscape architecturelanguage skills • London Heathrow Airport • Nader Khalili • noise • noise level • noise pollution • outdoor noise • outside lesson • passenger aircraftplace for childrenplaygroundprimary schoolrefuge • roar • Slough • superadobe • The GuardianUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2013

A history of play equipment design (by theme and by designer)

"Spielplätze sind relevante Orte in der Stadt. Diese Erkenntnis hat in der Zeit zwischen 1945 bis ca. 1970 ein kleine Zahl von Architekten, Landschaftsarchitekten und Künstlern zu neuen Spielkonzepten inspiriert. Die Seite architekturfuerkinder dokumentiert diese Pioniere und ihre Spielplätze und Spielgeräte, weil ihr Ideenreichtum, Zivilcourage, geistige Freiheit und Frechheit faszinieren."

(Gabriela Burkhalter)

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20th centuryad-hocadventure playgroundagencyAldo van EyckAlfred Trachsel • Angel Duarte • Ant Farm (architecture) • architecture for children • Arvid Bengtsson • Bernhard Luginbuhl • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander • Creative Playthings Inc • Egon Moller-Nielsen • Ernst Cramer • experience designexploration of unfolding possibilitiesexploratory experimentation • history of playgrounds • imaginationimpromptu playimprovisationIsamu Noguchi • Jacques Sgard • Jacques Simon • Joseph Brown • jungle gymKuro KanekoLady Allen of Hurtwoodlandscape architecturelandscape designLe Corbusiermake-do playgrounds • Mary Mitchell • Michael Grossert • Mitsuru Senda • NIDO • Niki de Saint Phalle • open-ended play spaces • Palle Nielsen • Paul FriedbergPaul Hoganplace for children • play environments • play spacesplayground • playground equipment • playground spacesplayscapes • Richard Arioli • Richard Dattner • Robert Royston • scriptible spaces • Soren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen • The Ludic Group

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2013

The Imagination of Playgrounds

"The following images begin with make–do playgrounds (as in the photographs by Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier–Bresson and others), but are followed by some unique and creative playground structures, some of which are mid–century modernist designs. As these images attest, playground equipment can be as simple as a tractor tire or mimic the amorphic abstraction of Jean Arp. So whether you are a landscape architect, a designer or just an inventive kid, all that really matters boils down to one simple question: do children like to play on it?"

(John Foster, 14 April 2013)

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ad-hocadventure playgroundagency • Bob Cassilly • children • climbing structure • Design Observer (magazine) • Ed Kashi • Egon Moller-Nielsenexploration of unfolding possibilitiesexploratory experimentation • Helen Levitt • Henri Cartier-Bresson • imaginationimpromptu playimprovisationIsamu Noguchi • Jean Arp • Joe Brown • John Foster • jungle gymKuro Kanekolandscape architecturelandscape designmake-do playgroundsopen spacesopen-ended play spacesPaul FriedbergPaul Hoganplace for childrenplay • play sculpture • play spacesplaygroundplayground spacesrisk-takingscriptible spaces • sliding board • space and objectstyre swing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 OCTOBER 2012

We Are Primary: an artist-led social and cultural resource

"Primary is an artist–led space that exists to support creative research and to develop new ways of engaging with audiences. Offering dedicated artist studios alongside flexible spaces, both within and outside the building, where artists from around the world can meet and work in the heart of Nottingham. Primary is a place where artists and the public can share, experiment and learn about contemporary visual art through an ambitious programme of events and activities. ...

In November 2011, the building opened its doors to the first resident artists: Nadim Chaudry, Simon Raven, Yelena Popova, Rebecca Beinart, Matt Hawthorn, Andy Lock, Simon Withers, Mik Godley, Tether, Frank Abbott, Craig Fisher and Debra Swann. Further recruitment of resident artists has continued in 2012 with an associate artist programme launching later in the year. ...

[Note that] we are not currently open to the public except for special events. However if you would like to visit, please get in touch: 33 Seely Road, Nottingham, NG7 1NU, +44(0)115 924 4493"

(Nottingham Studios Ltd., UK)

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2011 • alternative spaces • Andy Lock • artist studios • artist talks • artist-led initiatives • artist-led space • artistic practiceartists • arts infrastructure • associate artist programme • associate artists • audiences • canteen • charitycontemporary visual art • Craig Fisher • creative research • cultural resource • Debra Swann • Douglas Primary School • exhibitionsFrank Abbott • Matt Hawthorn • Mik Godley • Nadim Chaudry • new ways of engagingNottinghamNottingham city • Nottingham Studios Ltd • physical resource • playgroundPrimary (artist-led space) • programme of events • public programme • public spaces • Rebecca Beinart • residency space • Simon Raven • Simon Withers • social and cultural resource • social resource • studio provision • studio space • Tether (pseudonym) • UKYelena Popova

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 JULY 2012

Sense of adventure: what happened to playgrounds that give children space?

Aldo "Van Eyck believed playgrounds should challenge a child's imagination without jarring the adult's aesthetic sensibilities. His abstract, elementary forms – often manufactured out of metal tubes like modernist furniture – were meant to belong in a well–mannered streetscape. During the same period in Britain, however, we were developing a tradition of playground design that was almost diametrically opposed. The first 'junk' playgrounds emerged amid the rubble of the Blitz, and the results were far less polite. Consisting of makeshift structures cobbled together out of roof beams and detritus, they were often designed with the assistance of the children themselves. That essential character survives today in descendants such as Glamis Adventure Playground in Shadwell, east London, a riot of skew–whiff woodwork and clashing colours, and an odd hybrid of post–war austerity and postmodern assemblage.

The junk playground model was created by the Danish architect Carl Theodor Sorensen, who believed playgrounds should reflect the imagination of the child not the architect. In 1943, having observed the creative way children play in construction sites, he developed the prototype junk playground on the Emdrup housing estate in Copenhagen.

The concept was brought to Britain by Lady Allen of Hurtwood, who tested it out on the site of a bombed church in Camberwell and then built dozens of what she called 'adventure playgrounds' – the term 'junk' tended to turn local mothers into nimbys. Not only did Allen feel that ordinary playgrounds were sterile places ('it is little wonder that [children] prefer the dumps of rough wood and piles of bricks and rubbish of the bombed sites'), but she believed in the healing effects of exposing children to the urban scars of warfare. At the same time, having them take part in the post–war reconstruction effort was deemed a good way of shaping model citizens.

Essentially, all playgrounds are designed to do the same thing: to help children develop their abilities, use up excess energy and keep them off the streets. But the ideology of the adventure playground is interesting for several reasons. First, there's the notion of not restricting children to the repetitive motions of the slide or swing, because the sooner you reach the technical limits of the equipment, the sooner you have to stretch those limits – hence all those swings you see coiled around the crossbar. The adventure playground was designed to liberate the wild thing within and, by exposing children to risk, teach them personal responsibility (all forms of play are underpinned by some form of didactism, so it's worth reminding ourselves that this is also simply more fun). Just as crucially, it was intrinsic to the concept that children be involved in designing the playgrounds, dreaming up weird structures and adapting them later by tacking on extra elements. This participatory dimension, managed by volunteer play leaders, is key to the development of their creativity.

It's curious how much the ethos of the adventure playground chimes with the language of a new era of design today: a 'participatory' process, recycled materials, an adaptive product. It doesn't sound like the 1940s. But equally valuable is the zone of exception that the adventure playground represents in the city, one of improvisation and informality that, pace Van Eyck, does not blend in to a polite streetscape.

Today, there are few true adventure playgrounds left, but occasionally another is built that follows all the essential tenets, such as the Kilburn Grange Park playground in north London, designed last year by Erect Architecture and based on the ideas of local kids. Increasingly, though, 'adventure playgrounds' are produced by specialist manufacturers and merely designed to look rustic. You can't adapt them, or at least anyone who tried would be carted off. These are the products of a health and safety culture that watered down adventure playgrounds in the 1980s and 90s. There was a minor revival a few years ago, when the Labour government invested £230m in new play spaces across England, but the coalition government freed that budget up for other uses, so it was short–lived. And now, with the cuts, several adventure playgrounds, including the giant ones in Battersea and Kilburn, face losing the play workers that make such playgrounds what they are.

It's worth remembering just how cheap and yet how luxurious these spaces are. We should let kids loose on this new breed of sanitised playground, to inject a little of the old spirit in them. I hear the builder behind Kilburn Grange Park salvaged the formwork from Zaha Hadid's Olympic diving towers – that could come in handy."

(Justin McGuirk, Tuesday 3 July 2012 15.40 BST, The Guardian)

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1940s19431980s1990sad-hocadventure playgroundAldo van EyckAlfred Trachselausterity • Battersea • bomb site • Camberwell • Carl Theodor Sorensen • challenge imagination • childhood imaginationchildren • clashing colours • coalition governmentcobbled together • construction site • CopenhagencreativityDanishDenmarkdetritus • didactic • didactism • dream up • elementary forms • Emdrup housing estate • Empress Frederick • engagement • Erect Architecture • exposure to risk • formwork • free expressionfun • Glamis Adventure Playground • healing effects • health and safety culturehybridimaginationimprovisation • informality • junkjunk playgroundjunk playgrounds • Justin McGuirk • Kilburn Grange Park • Labour governmentLady Allen of Hurtwoodlearningmakeshift • model citizen • modernismmodernist aestheticmodernist furniture • new era of design • NIMBY • open-endedopen-ended play spacesparticipatoryparticipatory processpersonal responsibilityplay • play leader • play spaces • play worker • playground • playground design • playscapespost-war • post-war reconstruction • postmodern assemblagerecycled materialsrisk-takingRobinson Crusoe • rough wood • rubbishrustic • salvaged • sanitised • scriptible spaces • Shadwell • skew-whiff • sterile placesstreetscape • Theodor Sorenson • urban scars • warfare • weird structures • Zaha Hadid

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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