This post is an invitation to join me – and some kindred spirits – in September, for London’s first ever ‘Open for Play’ event. The programme includes site visits to some of the capital’s most innovative playgrounds, a walking tour of the acclaimed EC1 regeneration area, and an evening seminar.
The event is part of London’s world-famous Open House celebration of architecture and urban design, and all the individual events are entirely free. The site visits take place during Open House weekend itself (Sat 22nd and Sunday 23rd Sept) while the seminar is on the evening of Weds 19th.
Here is the itinerary for the visits:
Saturday 22 September
- Kate Greenaway Nursery School Garden, 11:00 and 12:00
- Glamis Adventure Playground, open 14:30 – 15:30
Sunday 23 September
- Waterlow Park Play Spaces Walk: meet 11 am
- EC1 Child-friendly City Walk: meet 14:30 pm
I will be leading all the site visits and walking tours – and I am delighted to say I will be accompanied by fellow playground design aficionado Paige Johnson, who curates the Playscapes blog.
Participants will also have the chance to meet with designers and managers, and to hear first-hand their perspectives on the spaces we will be visiting. Professionals joining us include Mark Lemanski from award-winning practice muf architecture/art, Jennette Emery-Wallis from LUC (lead designer of the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens), and Liz Kessler (formerly public space coordinator of EC1 New Deal for Communities).
Open for Play builds on two walking tours that I organised as part of last year’s Open House – see this blog post of mine for a recap. This year’s expanded programme was pulled together with Paige, who will be speaking with me and others at the evening seminar, and joining me on all the walks and visits. Open for Play is an international celebration of play design: a parallel event will be taking place over the same weekend in New York City, organised by Alex Gilliam of Public Workshop.
Open for Play has a dedicated web page with more details of the seminar, site visits and walking tours, including more detailed locations and transport options. I will also add a link to the relevant page of the London Open House site, as soon as it is online.
Please spread the word about Open for Play. And if you know of some truly playful places where you live, why not think about organising a similar event in your city?
Thanks to Kate Greenaway Nursery School, Glamis Adventure Playground and the professionals who will be giving their time to the events, and also to LUC and design consultancy Alan Baxter for their support for the seminar.