Designing for Play  book cover
2nd Edition

Designing for Play

ISBN 9781409409366
Published July 28, 2011 by Routledge
260 Pages

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Book Description

Architects, landscape designers, builders, gardeners and teachers have all at some time been called upon to design a play area. Unfortunately, this diversity has not resulted in a similar diversity of design solutions for this very problematic task. Despite a proliferation of 'how to' books on this subject, playgrounds have remained virtually the same throughout the world since their creation over a century ago. This is not a 'how to' design book. Instead, based on thirty years' experience as a specialist play area designer, Barbara Hendricks details a radically new approach, applying cutting-edge thinking from child development and child psychology to find innovative design solutions, challenging the established notions of play provision. Covering key sociological, public policy, environmental and design issues, this book provides designers with an exploration of and guide to, designing from a 'child's eye' view of the world. Beautifully crafted and copiously illustrated with numerous examples of recently designed playgrounds, this book is not only stimulating and informative, but fun to read and seriously playful in itself. This second edition brings the text up to date from 2001 to 2010 with added discussion about new ideas for play area designs and what has not worked in the past decade.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Designing for play; People play; History of the play yard: not a design story; Design and aesthetics - in relationship to play; Society’s criteri;: Children’s criteria; Designer’s criteria; A balancing act: putting it all together; Play yards with early childhood institutions; Play areas at public parks - unsupervised; Designing for play at school; Green children and other trends in playgrounds; Magic in the play area; Playing with the future; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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Barbara E. Hendricks, Play Environment Designer, currently owns and operates her own design firm and serves as a consultant to several international companies which manufacture play items.


A Yankee Book Peddler UK Core Title for 2011 Reviews of the First Edition: ’She interlaces her critical chapters with useful tips and how to guidance...The appendices offer invaluable practical information on the layout of playgrounds, safety guidelines and international standards...The style is attractively jargon-free, and the book will be of interest to anyone who is concerned about the well-being of children. It is so readable that it was sneaked away by a number of non-designers in my household...Designing for play may be a serious business. Reading about play in this book is fun, as it should be.’ Times Educational Supplement ( TES book of the week, 4th May 2001) ’This is a delightful book that is full of knowledge, information and philosophical musing. A clever book, interesting to read and its breadth gives it an excitement that makes it stand out...highly recommended for practitioners, students and lecturers.’ Australian Early Childhood Association ’Urban design is linked with urban quality and built environment. This is a new stimulant on the planning of playplaces in the city. An interesting analysis.’ Built Environment ’For anyone who works in the field of play, this book is a delight. Hendricks writes not from a lofty and out of touch adult viewpoint but from an experientially grounded child-centred perspective and consequently there is a challenge to all of us on every other page to see life - and playgrounds in particular - through a child's eye...This is a fine and timely book and one I warmly recommend.’ Local Government Studies