While most of my blog posts focus on playful design and things that create a playful atmosphere, a lot of us don’t have all of our basic needs met in order to be in a playful state. We are often overstressed, underslept, overworked, and detached from community. Play researchers have found evidence that goes along with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that find we need these things in order to be ready to explore, create, and be healthy. That’s why I also like to talk about what it takes to get us to a space where we feel safe, healthy, and ready to be playful.
Going with the philosophy that gardening is good for the soul, as well as aiming for convenience, a group in Vancouver has opened a huge urban farm and orchard.
Vancouver’s Sole Food Farms has transformed an old gas station into North American’s largest urban orchard! Located in Downtown Eastside, the orchard provides jobs to recovering addicts and those with mental illness, giving them a chance to make a living while raising organic food. The organic fruit, along with produce from three other sites, is sold to local restaurants and grocery stores.
Adding green space to a city, whether it’s a garden, park, or a single tree, has also repeatedly shown to be valuable even to those who just observe the space, they don’t need to even be actively engaged in maintaining it. The garden adds connection to and investment in the land, which is good for building community, and provides a sense of agency for those who might not otherwise have one.
Where have you seen community gardens spring up? What works, what doesn’t? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy Friday! I hope you get a chance to go out and play this weekend. Speaking of play, here is another great find from Milan’s Design week (remember the edible mini furniture from earlier this week?). This exhibit of design focused specifically on children’s spaces, with a focus that was very playful, creative, and also a great idea for grown-ups to incorporate into their own environments.
Students from the HDK master program Child Culture Design created an exhibit to explore new ways of bringing play into everyday objects to help foster imagination and creativity. Dubbed “Play In Progress“, the exhibit was one of our favorites at the Salone Mobile.
Check out more great designs at Inhabitat (I love the block table, for example!)
Happy New Year! This has been a pretty crazy year for me. One of change, growth, more change, more growth… but hopefully all of it has paid off to create a better, more enriching space for me both at work and at home.