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Riikonen, Juho-Atte, 2015. Playful public spaces : how can play change the way we think about public space design?. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)



In the end phases of an urban design course
that was oriented towards children, it dawned
on me: the shocking realization that we are
talking about play as something that is only
significant for children. How could it be that
we are talking about playgrounds that adults
have no business in. Not that children don’t
require specific attention, seeing that they are
the future of our world, but what I experienced
was quite the epiphany.
I started wondering why playfulness
isn’t discussed in our studies as a quality? Why
isn’t play an important activity of adult life?
Personally, all I do in my free time is play. I
do all the things I don’t like doing for the sake
of play. I play board games, computer games,
football. I am exremely playful when I hang out
with my friends as I joke around and talk about
unserious matters. When I walk in the city I play
with it. I do not walk for health reasons, I walk
because I like walking for walking’s sake. I watch
people for watching’s sake and I have coffee for
the sake of a nice conversation. Such a big part
of our lives deserves some attention, I thought.
I started looking into urban design
studies and found almost none that brought up
play. As I was reading more, cities started looking
alarmingly similar and serious. Public spaces, the
areas in our cities that have the potential to be the
adult playgrounds, began to feel more and more
Slowly, I got increasingly convinced that
play as a subject was worth studying. However, it
quickly seemed like a difficult angle to approach
public space design. Its definition was tricky and
people I talked to associated it with children at
the first chance. Regardless, in hopes of gaining
a fresh perspective, something I felt the field of
urban design sorely needed, I foolishly pushed
onwards. The result is a short introduction to
playful urban design – a merger between playtheory
and urban studies.

Main title:Playful public spaces
Subtitle:how can play change the way we think about public space design?
Authors:Riikonen, Juho-Atte
Supervisor:Diedrich, Lisa
Examiner:Gustavsson, Eva
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM006 Landscape Architecture 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:play, public space, urban design, landscape architecture, urban planning
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:25 Jun 2015 08:40
Metadata Last Modified:25 Jun 2015 08:40

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