Kennington Playscape

Hyde Housing & Kennington Park Estate Residents Association

About the Project

The brief for this project was to provide a unique play experience to augment the existing traditional play equipment on an estate in Kennington. We developed the design through a series of on site design days working in cardboard at full scale so that designs developed and altered as children interacted with the pieces, changed the shapes / scale and explored how they could be used. This participative process allowed us to to co-design a unique sculptural playground.

Timeline

12 months from start of engagement to final installation of built work. (including planning application).

7 full day weekly residencies to co-design a solution and prototype it at full scale.

Bi-monthly design reviews

Installation over 3 days followed by an opening celebration.

Our Tools & Approach

We used the ground as a surface for inviting children to come along and engage with us. This big chalk spectacle immediately got children interested in what we were doing so we could then ask them to tell us about their area and start to draw and model ideas at full scale using large pieces of cardboard.

The space was overlooked by four 5 storey residential buildings and we felt that by being outside, being public would allow us to build the greatest awareness of the project amongst children and parents alike. By consistently spending time on site we built a broad audience and designs were adapted and changed as children came in and appropriated the space in new and unexpected ways. This approach also allowed parents to witness their children playing in ways and with things that they had not previously imagined, allowing the process to expand preconceived ideas of what good play is.

The final concept was to create a sculptural assault course which is everything and nothing at the same time. The sculptures fuel imagination, are an active assault course and provide informal seating for children and young people to relax and socialise.