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Built Environment

Team info

Naomi Swagten

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Sandra van de Winkel
Jasmijn de Vries
Teun van Roessel
Sophie Hughes
Angela Keyt

The challenge

Children raised in a disadvantaged neighborhood are underprivileged from the moment they are born. People living in disadvantaged neighborhoods "lack resources, positive recognition as a cultural group, and opportunities to participate as citizens in a democratic society". Children typically have no say in decisions concerning the livability of the neighborhood, while they need a safe environment where they can play, get physically active and talk with friends.

The solution

Children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods need a place which belongs to them. Unlike their peers, they often do not have the chance to partake in activities. A playground is a second home for children, and could be a means to fulfill their social, playing and physical needs. It is a place where children meet other children, coordinate their own games and develop their identity. Through play, children develop social skills such as leadership, teamwork and cooperation. Playing equipment is designed and chosen by adults. I believe that children know best what they want. By empowering children of a disadvantaged neighborhood during the design process, I hope to take them on a journey of designing playing equipment. Children do not only find it fun to participate in such a project, but it might also contribute to the development of the child. Children learn to cooperate by making a collaborative design. Together with children from a primary school located in a disadvantaged neighborhood, I designed the concept Kubu. Kubu is a cubic frame on which panels with eliminated shapes are attached. The panels designed by children address their diverse playing needs. Being part of such a design project is an educational experience for the child and might make them feel more connected to their neighborhood.



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