Why Accessible Playgrounds?
Because kids in wheelchairs can’t play on playgrounds covered with wood chips. And children with muscular disabilities can fall out of swings that lack sides and backs. Or a child with vision or hearing problems can benefit from equipment specially designed for play alongside friends, siblings or any other child.
New federal requirements define playground accessibility as a civil right. And under those rules, playgrounds built or altered after March 14, 2012, are required to have wheelchair-friendly surfaces and equipment that helps kids with physical challenges move around.
You can Help HERE
Architektur für Kinder is an ongoing research project about the history of playgrounds and will transform into an international show in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh PA (June 2013).
“The acquisition and use of environmental knowledge are key aspects of a child’s socialization and experiential data of this is important; we can collect and interpret it with a measured confidence because we are human ourselves.”
What is the child-scale? How can we begin to understand it? How can this experience inform building and design ideas and practice?
Play is intensely important. Start developing an idea of (non)designing for playing. The walk that this extract depicts brought forth ideas of grain/granularity of street surfaces (materials), balance and tracing (paths, curbs), humble events, routine/ritual, liquid (refreshment, ballistics, power)… for a start.
According to Audio Tour Hack: “MoMA Unadulterated, an unofficial audio tour created by kids. Each piece of art is analyzed by experts aged 3-10, as they share their unique, unfiltered perspective on such things as composition, the art’s deeper meaning, and why some stuff’s so weird looking. This is Modern Art without the pretentiousness, the pomposity, or any other big “p” words.”
Ram Singh, 17, earns just one dollar from the 100 cups of tea he makes every day outside Delhi railway station, but each evening, after packing up, he goes to the bank and deposits nearly half of it.
Singh holds an account at a special bank, run for — and mostly by — Indian street children, that keeps what little money they have safe and seeks to instill the idea that savings, however meager, are important.
Just one among millions of street children who rely on menial jobs for survival, Singh is determined to make his work pay some sort of future dividend.
Excerpt from an article written at France24. Continue HERE
UK government officials have been warned that a “guinea pig” generation of children is becoming addicted to hardcore internet porn.
A cross-party Independent Parliamentary Inquiry Into Online Child Protection concluded in a report on Wednesday that the government and internet service providers need to do more to stop children from easily gaining access to pornography and websites with violent content.
The inquiry found that four out of five 16-year-old boys and girls regularly access porn on the internet and one in three ten-year-old children has seen explicit sexual material, according to a cross party report.
Additionally, the report revealed that more than a quarter of young patients at a leading private clinic are being treated for addiction to online pornography.
One parliament member said that her son had told her that his students at his school frequently traded memory sticks that contained hardcore pornographic images.
Excerpt of an article written by Christine Hsu at Medical Daily
Childhood exposure to lead dust has been linked to lasting physical and behavioral effects, and now lead dust from vehicles using leaded gasoline has been linked to instances of aggravated assault two decades after exposure, says Tulane toxicologist Howard W. Mielke.
Vehicles using leaded gasoline that contaminated cities’ air decades ago have increased aggravated assault in urban areas, researchers say.
The new findings are published in the journal Environment International by Mielke, a research professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, and demographer Sammy Zahran at the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University.
The researchers compared the amount of lead released in six cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans and San Diego, during the years 1950-1985. This period saw an increase in airborne lead dust exposure due to the use of leaded gasoline. There were correlating spikes in the rates of aggravated assault approximately two decades later, after the exposed children grew up.
After controlling for other possible causes such as community and household income, education, policing effort and incarceration rates, Mielke and Zahran found that for every one percent increase in tonnages of environmental lead released 22 years earlier, the present rate of aggravated assault was raised by 0.46 percent.
“Children are extremely sensitive to lead dust, and lead exposure has latent neuroanatomical effects that severely impact future societal behavior and welfare,” says Mielke. “Up to 90 per cent of the variation in aggravated assault across the cities is explained by the amount of lead dust released 22 years earlier.” Tons of lead dust were released between 1950 and 1985 in urban areas by vehicles using leaded gasoline, and improper handling of lead-based paint also has contributed to contamination.
Text and Image via Science Daily
Humans frequently engage in arbitrary, conventional behavior whose primary purpose is to identify with cultural in-groups. The propensity for doing so is established early in human ontogeny as children become progressively enmeshed in their own cultural milieu. This is exemplified by their habitual replication of causally redundant actions shown to them by adults. Yet children seemingly ignore such actions shown to them by peers. How then does culture get transmitted intra-generationally? Here we suggest the answer might be ‘in play’.
Using a diffusion chain design preschoolers first watched an adult retrieve a toy from a novel apparatus using a series of actions, some of which were obviously redundant. These children could then show another child how to open the apparatus, who in turn could show a third child. When the adult modeled the actions in a playful manner they were retained down to the third child at higher rates than when the adult seeded them in a functionally oriented way.
Our results draw attention to the possibility that play might serve a critical function in the transmission of human culture by providing a mechanism for arbitrary ideas to spread between children.
By Mark Nielsen, Jessica Cucchiaro, Jumana Mohamedally
Early Cognitive Development Centre, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Read paper HERE
Marta Bakowski: This self-initiated project comes from a primary research on “Emotional Design” or the emotional relationships we hold with objects. My main focus was on the power of movement and how it can affect our mood or perception of things when applied to an object.
Employing inherently playful materials such as springs, feathers, motors and gears, I created a series of small abstract, often geometrical constructions that I animated with a distinct rhythm and endearing characteristics, almost bringing each ‘creature’ to life.
This series of experiments resulted in a collection of colorful mechanical wooden toys, desirable to children and adults alike, which prove that fantasy is not necessarily a “stage one grows out of”.
This video is part of a research about movement. In this three dimensional brainstorming, each object is animated with a distinct rhythm and endearing characteristics which provide each ‘creature’ with a different personality.