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  • When you imagine a playground, chances are, it looks something like this.


  • There's usually a slide, a bridge, and a high point with a domed roof.


  • That's what makes this a playground, and this, and this.


  • But what about this?


  • This isn't a junkyard.


  • It's called an adventure playground.


  • Here, there are no plastic play structures, just things like old tires, wood planks, and hammers and nails.


  • Places like this represent one of the most debated ideas in play architecture : that playgrounds should be designed to let kids take more risks.


  • Now, this nightmare for helicopter parents is the hottest new thing in American playgrounds, because there's growing evidence that play like this is a whole lot healthier, and safer, for kids.


  • "They can play with very dangerous tools, they can take really dangerous risks and overcome them."


  • "And this builds up a tremendous sense of self confidence in themselves, which is really quite fascinating to watch."


  • That's Marjory Allen.

    這位是 Marjory Allen。

  • She was a British landscape architect and children's welfare advocate around the middle of the century.


  • In 1945, she visited Copenhagen, where she met an architect named Carl Theodor Sorensen.

    1945 年,她去了哥本哈根,並認識了建築師 Carl Theodor Sorensen。

  • Two years earlier, during the German occupation of Denmark, Sorensen noticed a problem: kids in his neighborhood weren't using playgrounds. In fact, they were playing just about everywhere else, even in construction sites and bombed-out buildings.

    兩年前 (1943 年),在德國占領丹麥期間,Sorensen 發現了一個問題:街坊鄰居的孩子們不去遊樂場。事實上,他們會在各個地方玩耍,甚至是建築工地或炸毀的廢墟。

  • So, in a housing development in the suburbs of Copenhagen, Sorensen closed off an empty lot and filled it with building materials, discarded objects, and tools.

    所以,在哥本哈根郊區的一項住宅開發計畫中,Sorensen 封閉了一塊空地,並在裡面放滿建築材料、廢棄物品和工具。

  • Here, kids could dig, and build, and invent on their own.


  • The play structures were ultimately designed by the kids themselves.


  • Sorensen called it a junk playground, and kids and parents loved it.

    Sorensen 稱之為「垃圾遊樂場」,而孩子和家長都很喜愛它。

  • When she returned to England, Marjory Allen started opening similar playgrounds all across London.

    Marjory Allen 回到英國後,開始在倫敦各地開設類似的遊樂場。

  • And she renamed them: from junk to adventure.


  • From there, they became a global phenomenon.


  • They spread to Minneapolis, Boston, Toronto, Tokyo, Houston, Berkeley, Berlin.


  • And to create these playgrounds, designers had to introduce a critical element: controlled risk.


  • In this context, a risk isn't the same thing as a hazard.


  • When you're climbing a tall tree, a rotten branch is a hazard: the threat is unexpected.


  • But how high you climb is a risk: it's manageable, and requires you to actively make a decision.


  • You can break the elements of controlled risk down into 6 categories: heights, speed, tools, dangerous elements, rough and tumble play, and the ability to disappear or become lost.


  • And a good adventure playground includes a mix of these.


  • Designers also focus on separation of space.


  • To give kids the feeling of discovering things on their own, parents have to stay out.


  • That can mean installing a physical barrier or providing things like restrooms, cafés, and seating, so that parental experience isn't an afterthought. Finally, designers fill it with loose parts.


  • These are the manipulatable objects, the planks, barrels, bricks, and tools, that fuel risky play.


  • The idea behind all these design elements is that kids respond well to being treated seriously.


  • If they're presented with risky items with a serious functional purpose, they'll respond cautiously and conduct more experimentation.


  • But if presented with an overly safe, static space, they often wind up seeking dangerous thrills that the built environment fails to provide, which can result in higher injury rates than risky play at adventure playgrounds.


  • In the US, a culture of lawsuit-proof playscape design means that overly safe playgrounds are the norm.


  • And design philosophy has focused on how to reduce height, movement, and hard materials.


  • And that hasn't made playgrounds better.


  • When Marjory Allen visited American playgrounds in 1965, she called them "an administrator's heaven and a child's hell".

    Marjory Allen 在 1965 年勘查美國遊樂場時,稱其為「管理員的天堂,孩子們的地獄」。

  • But adventure playgrounds have recently begun to catch on in the US, perhaps due to an effort to introduce more unstructured play.


  • And their construction comes with a fair share of criticism.


  • "They're making kids play with hammers and nails. That's not adventure. It's just work. They're tricking kids into building their own playground."


  • Adventure playgrounds do have downsides.


  • They're pretty ugly; they require a lot of space, and they need resources to staff and maintain.


  • And as with any playground, there is an opportunity for injury.


  • But the underlying philosophy of risky play can help kids live better lives.


  • For one thing, riskier playgrounds encourage more activity.


  • A study comparing playgrounds in London, where risky play spaces are popular, to those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, found that children using London's playgrounds were up to 18% more physically active.

    有一項研究將廣受歡迎的倫敦冒險遊樂場與舊金山、洛杉磯和紐約的遊樂場進行比較,發現倫敦遊樂場的孩子,其體力活動力高出了 18%。

  • The London playgrounds were cheaper and boasted fewer injuries, too.


  • And multiple studies have shown that children who engage in risky play have better risk detection, creativity, and self esteem.


  • The playground is one of the only kinds of architecture designed specifically for children.


  • And if the standard model we've decided on is seen as boring by its users, that's a problem.


  • Better design can fix that, even if it's a little risky.


  • I had to look through so many pictures of playgrounds for this story that I decided to use Wix to create a website collecting all of the ugliest and saddest pictures of playgrounds that I could find.

    我為了這則故事看了很多遊樂場的照片,最後決定用 Wix 創建網站,收集我可以找到最醜、最悲哀的遊樂場照片。

  • And now I have a perfectly curated arrangement of pictures of playgrounds next to graveyards and slides leading into dumpsters and whatever these kid-friendly statues are.


  • If you're looking for a simple way to share your passion about broken infrastructure or whatever it is that you're into these days, you should absolutely head to Wix.

    如果你在尋找分享對廢棄建築或其他興趣的方法,你真的應該試試 Wix。

  • To create your own website just like this, click the link below.


  • Wix does not directly impact our editorial, but their support makes videos like this possible.

    Wix 不會直接影響我們的編輯,但它們的支持讓這樣的影片變得可能。

  • So check them out.


When you imagine a playground, chances are, it looks something like this.


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