Designing fun play grounds

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I think an overlooked aspect of community life and design is in playgrounds, I remember growing up as a kid you pretty much got a swing a slide and a seesaw if you were lucky one of those things that spin around and a park bench. The rest would be void of any imagination. Yet still many fun times were had at these parks.

But let's face it, they were cheap and not often thought of slapped together parks and not many were around because heaven forbid we invested in kids fun. But fastforward a few decades and now those kids whom have held onto those fun times want more.

If you're asking, yes that slide is a Shrimp or well designed as one.

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See parks are more than just swings, they are a place of inspiration, imagination and a world where you're transported to another place. This isn't a new concept architects and designers do this all the time.

From designing ambient lighting, high ceilings and a range of other things even down to the art on the walls. All of it designed to transport you to another place.

Think about when you walk into a Zoo everything in that Zoo changes depending on what animals you're looking at and their country of origin. The same as an aquarium and as you move through the different species of marine animals and not only their enclosures change but so too does that one you're in or walking through. All this designed to emerge you into another world. It's a powerful tool.

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Just like the desig of this park in our community which are built with community consultation. No two parks in our municipality are the same each one is different with a different design focus. This one is a marine obstacle course that focuses on shrimps (prawns) as you can see instead of rock walls it has climbing stumps that are actually mimicking coral.

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There's also a thing with stairs that has all your common fire man polls, slides, climbing thingies and it is designed as a small troller that trolls the ocean floor in search of Shrimp and small crustaceans.

As a child you wouldn't know it but as an adult if you sit back and pull it all apart you can see the design concept.

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There are also a series of nets which if you went fishing for crustaceans you would no doubt use. All of this is planned out in a circular format that comes together as an ocean inspired obstacle course.

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And of course none of this would be complete without an island or Volcano in the middle of the park. Where else would sailors rest for the night. They have no option but to seek dry land which this park has in the middle. A series of stones layered to form steps and a peak to the top. Unfortunately you won't find palm trees here but you will find native Australian trees.

Where exotic plants are beautiful they also pose a risk to native wild life and research has proved that filling parks with native plants create mini safe zones for wild life. As we expand and infringe on the native wild life it is important that we sustain native plants so that they can provide a safe haven for native fauna.

Do we get Kangaroos around these parts? Yes we do and it doesn't matter how many times you see a Roo about it is always a shock because they're not small animals they're the size of people. Fortunately we have eastern greys in this part and not those big muscle bulging Big Reds. They're known to assault people, so to can Eastern Greys but they tend to run off more often.

What are you're thoughts, do you like the design concept. I might share a few more as we go exploring other parks and play grounds in the area. Would you like to see the other designs? It will he a fun challenge 🤣

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