behavior · community · emotion · happiness · mental health · play · work

London Bridge Transformed Into Rainbow Walkway in Spark Of Creativity That Banished Mondayitis

Fantastic! As a fellow resident of a gray and gloomy city, a little splash of surprise color can do wonders!

The grey weather was no match for a new art installation on London Bridge, which transformed the crossing into a rainbow walkway for one day only.

The project was created by Spark Your City, a global movement “dedicated to spark joy in everyday life”.

According to the group’s Facebook page, they are “travelling the world from city to city”, and London was the first major centre to get the spark makeover.

check out all the pictures of the bridge and more via London Bridge Transformed Into Rainbow Walkway in Spark Of Creativity That Banished Mondayitis.

anthropology · architecture · behavior · community · culture · design · environment · happiness · health

Gorgeous Viewpoint Platform Invites Busy Londoners to Enjoy the Wildlife of Regents’ Canal | Inhabitat

Gorgeous Viewpoint Platform Invites Busy Londoners to Enjoy the Wildlife of Regents' Canal | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Living in a big city like London, even with parks and trees, it can be hard to find a spot dedicated to just being quiet and taking in nature.

So the Finnish Institute of London, The Architecture Foundation and London Wildlife Trust just unveiled Viewpoint, a floating platform where Londoners can slow down and enjoy Regents’ Canal. Designed by Finnish architects Erkko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola, this permanent structure serves as a placid retreat for visitors to nearby Camley Street Natural Park and as an outdoor learning environment for school children and adults.

more via Gorgeous Viewpoint Platform Invites Busy Londoners to Enjoy the Wildlife of Regents’ Canal | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Designating spaces as official rest areas is a great way to cue people to actually take breaks, and clue them in to their surroundings, to take a minute to stop and observe.

behavior · design · emotion · environment · happiness · health · mental health · psychology

Modular Glass Bedroom Helps Researchers Investigate Light’s Infinite Health Benefits – PSFK

Do you notice you have different moods depending on how bright or dark it is outside? Do you notice the warmth or cold feeling emitting from a light bulb? Whether you consciously notice them or not, they do have an effect on your brain and body. Since these days most of us don’t get to work outside and absorb natural light, scientists are working on the right kind of artificial light for us.

The light emitted from our lamps and fixtures at home doesn’t just spruce up a room; it has the power to significantly augment our mood and lift our spirits.To explore further the link between lighting and personal wellbeing, glass engineering company Cantifix and Oxford University have collaborated to create the Photon Project. This scientific study comes to life at this month’s London Design Festival in the form of the Photon Pod, an all-glass living space that will help the Photon Project gather data and insights on the links between light and health.Resembling a futuristic bedroom, the pod invites visitors to experience what life is like in a completely translucent living space, as well as take part in simulations that measure levels of alertness or relaxation under varied light conditions.

more via Modular Glass Bedroom Helps Researchers Investigate Light’s Infinite Health Benefits – PSFK.

anthropology · architecture · behavior · community · creativity · design · work

Workstations Designed For Collaboration, Modeled On Friendly Neighborhoods | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

This article brings up an interesting idea of a “forced” playful space. You can certainly encourage creativity and playfulness, but forcing the issue can backfire in a bad way.

“We have recently seen many offices that try to evoke a kind of forced playfulness,” says Sam Hecht, founder of London-based Industrial Facility. “Slides, chill-out zones, ping-pong, or a kind of home-like interior. We were very suspicious of this.”

For his own take on the flexible office system, Hecht and his partner, Kim Colin, adopted a more nuanced approach to getting employees to think fondly of their office–and not view them as places of mandatory drudgery. Locale, for Herman Miller, uses modular pieces that easily adjust in place and height to create what Hecht calls neighborhoods.

more via 1 | Workstations Designed For Collaboration, Modeled On Friendly Neighborhoods | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

I definitely agree that everyone has to buy in or the “playful” environment doesn’t truly exist. A space designated for “play” just becomes a dead zone at work if nobody wants to hang out there, or knows they’ll be scolded by fellow workers for disrupting work, or viewed as “lazy.”

I’m curious to hear more of why the Locale design would make people feel more neighborly. Thoughts? Ideas? Leave them in the comments below.

architecture · creativity · design · environment · health · work

LEED Gold Firm With a Picnic Green | Inc.com

Bringing the great outdoors indoors for mental destressing, and maybe a little fun.

HOK’s London branch features a central patch of grass. But despite all the greenery, perhaps the greenest feature was its construction method and materials.

more via LEED Gold Firm With a Picnic Green | Inc.com.

architecture · community · creativity · design · environment · play

Dalston House: where every visitor becomes Spider-Man – video | Art and design | guardian.co.uk

A Victorian terrace has popped up in east London that lets you swing from its ledges, run up its walls and generally defy gravity. Architecture critic Oliver Wainwright hangs loose at Dalston House, the novelty installation by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich.

The artist talks about “enjoyable discovery” and playing with spaces that you might not otherwise think of.

I love how it is an interactive piece of art that only exists when people play with it.

more at Dalston House: where every visitor becomes Spider-Man – video | Art and design | guardian.co.uk.

community · creativity · environment · play · Social

99 Tiny Games Project in London Brings Play to the Streeets

Sometimes we just need a little spark to get us to play.

In 2012, Hide&Seek installed 99 tiny games around London:

http://hideandseek.net/projects/99-tiny-games/

Tiny Games began life at the Southbank Centre in 2011 and are a collection of very small, very quick-to-understand games. They sit in the real world, inviting participation from any interested passer-by. Their rules can be summarised in just a couple of sentences.

In the spirit of the “big” games in London this summer, Hide & Seek created 99 wee-tiny games and stuck them all over the city, transforming buildings, sidewalks, tube stations and more into impromptu game sites. The rules are all quick and simple and each game takes almost no time to play – anyone can play, anytime they want. Players will be tested on everything from wits to creativity to cooperation to determination, all within immediate reach of their home, workplace, or favorite pub.

It’s great to watch the Olympians do what they do best and admire their near-superhuman abilities, but it’s also important to bring this spirit of competition and fun to non-superhumans like us. We bet that if everyone stopped to play even for just a few minutes everyday the world would undoubtedly be a better place. 99 Tiny Games serves as a reminder to everyone to always be playful, no matter where you are.

In the past year, the team has since created a Kickstarter to try and get an app built so you can find fun games wherever you go. Hooray for using technology to create playful spaces wherever you are! Unfortunately it only looks like it’s available in the UK market, but it’s great inspiration to look for play wherever you go.

community · environment · play · Social

Fear, Traffic Largest Inhibitors of Outdoor Play in UK

This makes me sad to see that fear is stopping a lot of kids from playing outdoors in the U.K. From the national organization Play England:

Traffic and a fear of strangers are preventing children from playing outdoors, new research released for Playday 2012 has found. Almost half (49%) of parents report that fear of strangers stops their children from playing out, while 46% say traffic and almost a third (31%) highlight fear of accident and injury as barriers to outdoor play.

The findings of the survey have been released today as an estimated half-a-million children and families nationwide celebrate Playday- the national day for play in the UK, held this year on Wednesday 1st August. Around 500 community events are taking place across the UK to celebrate 25 years of the campaign, which raises awareness about children’s right to play and the importance of play for children’s health, wellbeing and happiness.

The Playday 2012 theme isGet out and play! The campaign, which is co-ordinated by Play England (part of the National Children’s Bureau), Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland has gone from strength-to-strength since its conception in London in 1987, when the first events were held to raise awareness about the effects of cuts to local play services.

Cath Prisk, Director of Play England, said: “Simply playing outside should be a normal, everyday event for all children. If we want to foster the next generation of Olympians and sports stars, then we need children with confidence, who love being active and are confident in tackling challenges. If parents are too afraid to let their children play out – because of fear of strangers, traffic or their children having accidents – then we as a society need to address this fear. Whether that’s a community living in a cul-de-sac agreeing children will be playing out every day, a street applying to the council to close the road for play regularly, or residents volunteering to help local play projects reach more children, we can all do our bit to make sure every day is a Playday.”

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales, said: ‘… As a society we have developed an irrational fear that our children are unsafe outside. Compound this with the domination of cars and their drivers, and the world outside the front door doesn’t look particularly attractive for anyone who wants to play there … and children regularly tell us that outside is where they want to play. Children value time, quality places and freedom to play in their own way; we need to support them, recognise that for their wellbeing, they need to play outside and that it’s safer than we think.’

Read the full release.

I am glad, however, that the U.K. seems to be taking play more seriously than the U.S.; just the fact that they have a Play Day (August 1), is pretty cool. And the Quote from Mike Greenaway is as accurate for the U.S. as it is for the U.K.: serious crime has actually been decreasing since the early 1990s.

Thankfully where I grew up was pretty rural, so as long as we were within whistle-shot (my mom would blow a whistle rather than yell), we could roam as far and wide as we wanted. What rules did your parents have about playing outside? What rules do you have for kids you are in charge of (kids, nieces and nephews, neighbor kids, grandkids, etc.)? Leave a note in the comment below.

Uncategorized

Playful Conference in London October 19

Conway Hall Humanist Centre, home of the South...

Does anybody know more about this event?

Playful 2012: It’s a one-day conference all about games, play, interaction, behaviour and everything that comes with looking at the world through fun eyes.

It’ll be incredible, enlightening, smart and gloriously silly. A bit like a really good game, or Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen.

Playful 2012 will be held on Friday the 19th of October at Conway Hall, London. Doors open at around 9:00am for a 10:00am start — don’t hang about. We’ll be done by 4:30 so that the tango class can get their hips shaking, when we’ll decamp to the pub.

Bring a pad, a pencil, your brain and a mug. Leave the rest behind.

If I had money and time I’d go just for the sheer awesomeness/curiosity factor. It’s sponsored by tech company Mudlark, but it looks like they’re pulling from pretty diverse areas of study/work.

Know anything more about it? Leave a comment below.

architecture · behavior · community · environment · Nature · play

Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places

Interesting exploration of the playful spaces around London:

an example of a playground toured in London last fall.

I’m still buzzing after last weekend’s Open House play space tours. Why?

Simple: I saw some inspirational work, and had some immensely rewarding conversations.

We took a meandering and surprisingly green route across most of the NDC area to Radnor Street Gardens.
This is one of London’s best examples of a ‘playable space’ – in other
words, a space where offering opportunities for play is only one of the
jobs that has to be done. My work for the GLA
[pdf link] helped to embed this idea in London’s planning system. In my
view, it is fundamental to the success of public play facilities in
almost any urban area.

What struck me was how the programme combined park, amenity space and
play projects, along with streetscape and highways initiatives, so that
the whole far exceeded the sum of its parts. The ingredients we saw
included [*deep breath*]: new play spaces and toilet blocks in parks and
estates, new public squares from reclaimed street space and car parks, ‘home zone’-style
shared road surfaces, landscaped road closures, greening up an
adventure playground, estate-based allotment projects, cycle lanes,
shared use ball game areas, pushchair-friendly pavements, even (on one
estate) new refuse bin sheds with green roofs. Her approach to
engagement was revealing. Local people were closely involved at all
levels, right up to the NDC board. However, they were seen not simply as
‘stakeholders’ or ‘consumers’, but as people who needed to be inspired,
debated with, and (hopefully) won over.

Read more of Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places.

I think this is a great idea; just as we have garden tours, we should have playground tours! Areas that introduce parents and officials alike to playful, fun spaces to take their kids.

This blog actually has some great conversations about play and the need for children to get outside and play more.

via Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places.