Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Personal Autonomy' keyword pg.1 of 1
17 NOVEMBER 2014

Mapping the geography of childhood playscapes

"In 1972, the British–born geography student Roger Hart settled on an unusual project for his dissertation. He moved to a rural New England town and, for two years, tracked the movements of 86 children in the local elementary school, to create what he called a 'geography of children,' including actual maps that would show where and how far the children typically roamed away from home. Usually research on children is conducted by interviewing parents, but Hart decided he would go straight to the source. The principal of the school lent him a room, which became known as 'Roger's room,' and he slowly got to know the children. Hart asked them questions about where they went each day and how they felt about those places, but mostly he just wandered around with them. Even now, as a father and a settled academic, Hart has a dreamy, puckish air. Children were comfortable with him and loved to share their moments of pride, their secrets. Often they took him to places adults had never seen before–playhouses or forts the kids had made just for themselves.

Hart's methodology was novel, but he didn't think he was recording anything radical. Many of his observations must have seemed mundane at the time. For example: 'I was struck by the large amount of time children spend modifying the landscape in order to make places for themselves and for their play.' But reading his dissertation today feels like coming upon a lost civilization, a child culture with its own ways of playing and thinking and feeling that seems utterly foreign now. The children spent immense amounts of time on their own, creating imaginary landscapes their parents sometimes knew nothing about. The parents played no role in their coming together–'it is through cycling around that the older boys chance to fall into games with each other,' Hart observed. The forts they built were not praised and cooed over by their parents, because their parents almost never saw them.

Through his maps, Hart discovered broad patterns: between second and third grade, for instance, the children's 'free range'–the distance they were allowed to travel away from home without checking in first–tended to expand significantly, because they were permitted to ride bikes alone to a friend's house or to a ball field. By fifth grade, the boys especially gained a 'dramatic new freedom' and could go pretty much wherever they wanted without checking in at all. (The girls were more restricted because they often helped their mothers with chores or errands, or stayed behind to look after younger siblings.) To the children, each little addition to their free range–being allowed to cross a paved road, or go to the center of town–was a sign of growing up. The kids took special pride, Hart noted, in 'knowing how to get places,' and in finding shortcuts that adults wouldn't normally use."

(Hanna Rosin, April 2014, The Atlantic)

Roger Hart (1979). "Children's Experience of Place", Irvington.

1

TAGS

1972 • ad-hoc geographies • alone but not lonely • being allowed • childhood agency • creating imaginary landscapes • dissertation project • elementary school • environmental psychology • environments for children • fifth grade • free range playgrowing upHanna Rosin • how children learn • how children play • kid-oriented experienceslearning by doing • making places • modifying landscape • New England • observation (data collection) • open spacesopen-ended play spaces • overprotection • patterns of usepersonal autonomypersonal freedompersonal responsibility • places for children • play fort • playhouses • playscapes • riding bikes • risk-taking • Roger Hart • route mapscriptible spaces • second grade • smooth phenomenal spacesocial constructionismsocial geographysocial researchspaces for childrenthird gradeurban mapping

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 NOVEMBER 2014

Hogeweyk: Dutch village designed just for people with dementia

"In the small town of Weesp, in Holland – that bastion of social progressivism – at a dementia–focused living center called De Hogeweyk, aka Dementia Village, the relationship between patients and their care is serving as a model for the rest of the world. ... The idea, explains Hogeweyk's creators, is to design a world that maintains as much a resemblance to normal life as possible – without endangering the patients. For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most 'memory units' and dementia care centres to institute a strict lock–down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village – which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.

Each apartment hosts six to eight people, including caretakers – who wear street clothes – and the relationship between the two is unique. Residents help with everything from cooking to cleaning. They can buy whatever they want from the grocery. They can get their hair done or go to a restaurant. It's those basic routines and rituals that can help residents maintain a better quality of living. ...

People with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces, colours, and even decor. At Hogeweyk, apartments are designed to reach familiar cultural touchstones, categorized into six basic 'genres' of design: 'goois' or upperclass (the decor looks old fashioned), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural. Each apartment is different, catered to a particular lifestyle, right down to the silverware and furniture. 'Living in lifestyles,' explains Hogeweyk, 'just like before.'

Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, but it was the brainchild of Yvonne van Amerongen, a caregiver who has worked with memory patients for decades. Starting in the early 1990s, van Amerongen and a group of like–minded caregivers began researching and designing a type of home where residents would participate in life, the same way they did before they entered a dementia care unit. ...

What Hogeweyk reveals is the culturally ingrained way we distinguish between those who do and don't suffer from dementia. By treating residents as normal people, Hogeweyk seems to suggest that there isn't such a huge difference, deep down – just differing needs. By designing a city tailored to those unique needs, residents avoid the dehumanisation that long–term medical care can unintentionally cause."

(All–Generations Care Services, 21 June 2014)

1
2

3

4

5

TAGS

2009ageing population • Alzheimers • ambachtelijke style • Amsterdam • artisan lifestyle • care centre • care home • care services • caregiver • Christian lifestyle • cultural lifestyle • day to day life • day to day surroundings • De Hogeweyk • degenerative brain illnesses • dementia • dementia sufferer • Dementia Village • dementiaville • elderly • environmental design • extreme dementia • familiar cues • familiar surroundings • familiarityfictional setting • Goois (upper class) • health and social carehealth care • Hogewey • Hogeweyk • Holland • homey • huiselijke • Indonesian • inhabitants • lifestyleliving togethermodel villageNetherlands • normal society living • nursing home • personal autonomypersonal freedom • personal independence • personal safety • personal wellbeing • pioneering institution • psychological perception • residential home • residents • senior citizen • simulationspatial cuesspatial environmentsThe Truman Show (1998)urban simulationvillage • Weesp • weyk • wijk • Yvonne van Amerongen

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.