Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Playscape Chronicles of Frode Svane

Sometimes I get asked where the best playgrounds in the world are.  Hands down they're in the countries of northern Europe, where long-standing cultural values for being outside and a realistic approach to risk have led to play installations that are truly child-focused. 

Frode Svane, teacher and playground expert,  hails from Norway and he's documented many of the best European playgrounds in his extensive albums, available on facebook.  His photographic chronicles are a huge trove of inspiration for the playscape-maker, of which the ones featured in this post are a small, small selection; I'm particularly inspired at the moment by his idea set for secondary schools (selections above), since play environments for teens continue to be a missed opportunity in play design.

You'll also find loads of ideas for natural playgrounds elements:  Frode has been promoting nature play and natural playscapes since way before the current children and nature movement and before I had even heard those terms myself.  Sometimes when larger forces take over we lose track of who the real trailblazers were; I consider Frode to be one of them, and his playground chronicles (I don't know anyone else with soo many playground pictures!) are endlessly inspiring.

Frode also hosts study trips of European playgrounds:  one each year in Berlin and sometimes also in Scandinavia as well.  This year's Berlin trip is June 27-30 (and I've just noticed that the registration deadline was April 12...contact Frode asap for remaining availability) 

I dream of taking one of these myself, but alas my uni doesn't consider this a legitimate use of laboratory travel funds....even if you can't take the trip, visit vicariously through Frode Svane's photo chronicles.

No comments:

Post a Comment