Dying is tough stuff. No question. So it is wonderful to see how facilities are making it easier on the dying and their families to feel comfortable via the design, look, and layout of a space, with everything from the hues on the wall to the view from their window. Amy Marquez shared her observations about her mother’s hospice space a couple of years ago on Offbeat Families (now retired, but visit the sister sites for Pete’s Sake before they meet a similar fate!), and it is a wonderful ode to both her mom and people who cared for her and her family during her last days, but also the importance of creating a great, peaceful, and sometimes playful space.
At first I was impressed with how sensitive and involved the staff was. They made sure she was comfortable, asked us how we were doing and offered to help us if we needed anything. And although my mother had lost the ability to communicate verbally by the third day that she was there, they spoke to her as though she was able to answer and talked her through everything they were doing to assist her.
I spent enough days there to really start looking around. This facility was, at first glance, a very nice, tranquil place that was inviting and welcoming to family and friends of loved ones in residence there. Then I really started looking and I was amazed at the amount of thought that had to go in to building this hospice.
read the entire breakdown at Beauty in sadness: reflecting on the hospice in which my mother passed away | @offbeatfamilies.
A fun way to encourage public participation in space and creativity.
In order to celebrate its 10 years of activity, the artistic centre Lungomare in Bolzano Italy has recruited the ConstructLab/exyzt team composed by Alexander Römer, Gonzague Lacombe, Patrick Hubmann and Mattia Paco Rizzi. The result is the creation of Teatro del Mare, a wooden temporary structure, both a contemporary stage and street furniture, hosting a series of events, meetings and screenings until the end of June.
LIEU d’ÊTRE by the French Compagnie Acte is more than a performance. The project is an urban collective experience involving, both in the creation and the production of the event, professionals as well as inhabitants of a block of flats or of a whole neighbourhood. It uses the tool of dance to explore the pattern of the city.
more via In public space we trust.
SoulPancake hits the streets to see what happens when two strangers sit in a ball pit… and talk about lifes big questions.
via Take a Seat – Make a Friend? – YouTube.
Sometimes it’s nice to add a little play into a normally quiet, serene space like the home.
Whether you’re a superhero or still reliving your childhood, an indoor slide is obviously the best way to get from one floor to the other in your home. Here are some houses that turn slides into amazing works of art — and stairway replacements.
more via These Insane Houses Have Indoor Slides.
I have been struggling, STRUGGLING!, lately with fitting play and relaxation into my new life structure and creating space in my life for everything that needs to get done. I’m curious how other people manage it, so I found this article intriguing:
About four years ago I started working for myself. I wanted the freedom and flexibility to own my schedule and the space to bring my ideas to life.
One of the biggest challenges was structuring my time so I was fully experiencing the benefits of working for myself while also being as creative and productive as possible. At first, the idea of systems and planning made me cringe. I felt like they would hold back my creative potential. Eventually, organization and effectiveness challenges pilled up and I decided to give structure a try.
How do I balance client service with working on my own ideas?
How do I avoid interruptions that mess with my creative flow?
How do I stop putting off the stuff I hate but still have to do?
Behold, her solution…
Find out more via How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Creative Performance | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.
Hope you’ve made a playful space for yourself to work this week. 🙂
(Photo courtesy of Facebook.)
I found this video courtesy of Creativitea. They were using it to explain how they don’t believe in creating things under a time pressure. It really does a great job of illustrating how we all need to give ourselves more time, and space in our lives, to get creative and think about things.
Have a happy weekend, and make sure to make some space for play and creativity.
Great story from TreeHugger about self-proclaimed “Urban Hacktivist” Florian Riviere and some of the various “hacks” he’s done:
When it comes to redefining public space and objects, Florian Rivière is a master. The self-described “urban hacktivist” transforms parking spots into hockey rinks, sidewalk barriers into tables, and uncomfortable benches into lounge chairs for the homeless.
I absolutely agree with TreeHugger when they say:
I love it when people re-imagine how urban space is used; it’s a fantastic way to make cities more liveable, practical and fun, without needing major construction projects or the hassle of red tape.
Here are some of his best “hacktions.”
Visit Florian Riviere‘s site and see more of his work.
I particularly like these hurdles he’s set up:
This is just one example of “hacking” public space in a fun creative way. I still remember the yarn-bombing movement that really took off a couple of years ago but seems to have died down for now.
There was also the Swing at the bus stop.
What other examples of urban “hacktivism” have you seen? Share them in the comments below.
With gas prices going through the roof, many people are taking to walking more. But after being car-focused in our navigation for decades, it can be unusual for people to know how to get around by walking and how long it will take them. One student from Raleigh, North Carolina, has an idea:
On a rainy night in January, urban planning student Matt Tomasulo and two fellow schemers positioned 27 signs in three strategic locations across central Raleigh. In bold, authoritative letters, each sign indicates the number of minutes it would take for a pedestrian to reach a particular, popular destination.
And for the directionally challenged, the otherwise spartan signs are equipped with a high-tech surprise. By scanning the signs with a smartphone, pedestrians can receive a specially tailored Google Map that will keep them on the right path.
Tomasulo and his colleagues at City Fabric have dubbed their effort Walk Raleigh, and have submitted the project to the Spontaneous Interventions competition, a contest sponsored by the Institute for Urban Design. In terms of impressing judges, the group is off to a good start: far from being displeased by Tomasulo’s guerrilla antics, the city of Raleigh has expressed interest in permanently incorporating Walk Raleigh’s signs into the city’s landscape.
see more at A Walk to Remember.
I’m glad the city of Raleigh is encouraging this, and I hope it catches on in other places. I think it’s great to share our knowledge of neighborhoods with others and let them get to know their cities and environments a little bit better. Plus it’s just fun.
Have you seen similar signs in other cities? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Interesting exploration of the playful spaces around London:
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.
- Play Streets (dundeestreetfestival.wordpress.com)