The increase in childhood obesity and the lack of nature and opportunities for unstructured outdoor play in the urban environment has meant that children today lead very different lives than children two generations ago. Currently there are limited opportunities for children to be active in cities in comparison to the suburbs and rural areas.
My design-based thesis called “A new playground?” focused on encouraging children to get outside and find ways to connect them with nature through play. I chose a challenging, urban, high density area of Los Angeles where there were no parks within walking distance and developed design solutions for interstitial spaces within the framework of the neighbourhood, using the “public domain”.
Here is an excerpt from my final thesis book.
“Outdoor, unstructured play is integral to developing healthy, creative and independent children. Direct experience of the natural world is crucial to healthy development,learning and education.
Re-designing the utilitarian aspects of the street to be more harmonious with natural cycles, would create an environment which would be more conducive to the way children naturally play, thereby encouraging social interaction, independence and creativity.”