Playscape News - September 2015
In this Issue
- Designing Healthy Spaces
- Roma Street Parklands
- Bespoke Independents 

- From the Manager's Desk
Spring has sprung - bringing with it an opening of minds and open spaces, and a focus on our public spaces, public gardens and activating a healthier more active lifestyle outdoors .  ENJOY it!

Designing Healthy Spaces

How does the design of our built environment impact the health and well being of our next generation?  How do we foster an inter-disciplinary approach to lessen and mitigate the emerging health trends of the next generation?

Playscape Creations in conjunction with Landscape Structures, hosted internationally renowned allied health pioneer and researcher Dr Lucy Jane Miller for a series of seminars in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.  Dr Miller is the best known researcher of Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) in the world, and founder of the SPD Foundation and STAR Treatment Method (Sensory Therapies and Research).

A sensational week of inspiring talks relating to designing sensory friendly cities saw a varied audience of landscape architects, parks managers, urban planners and occupational therapists. Some awesome discussion was had at UDAL's Sensational Cities event, sharing the floor with Dr Rachael Sharman from University of Sunshine Coast, Katharina Nieberler-Walker, lead LA for Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, Professor Susan Thompson from UNSW (via Skype) and John Byrne - working towards Designing our built environment for the challenges of the next generation.

Sensory rich recreational spaces allow for stimulating and exciting opportunities for adults and children alike, regardless of ability.  We all have a responsibility to create engaging playspaces that activate public open space and connect communities - both to the outdoors and to each other.

We will certainly look forward to continuing the discussion on evidence based design - and creating spaces that positively impact the health and well being of our next generation.

"Inclusive is not about meeting 'special needs'. It's about meeting all children's needs in the same place and in a variety of ways."  Douch, P (2002)

Roma Street Parklands
Opening just in time for City Parklands' Parks Alive celebrations, the stunning new Children's Garden and Playground at Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane has been an instant hit with visitors to the family friendly gardens.  Integrating the design of the playground with the existing botanical fabric was the key focus of the project and through amazing design and manufacturing partnerships a magical land of adventure has been achieved.  One that will keep children of all ages entertained, further activating the parklands and encouraging countless visitors to stay longer.
Visit our website for more images and the full project profile.

Bespoke Independent Pieces
The project at Roma Street Parklands called for the design of some bespoke pieces that would complement the natural setting and inspire wonderment within its visitors.  One of the many assets of our Company is our team's diverse skill set.  Concepts were developed by our Industrial Designer, Peter Koch for a unique steel frame TeePee, providing an innovative modern take on the traditional and adding an architectural twist to the nature space.
Adding further design interest to the space are the specially designed custom totems utilised in the Rope Walk.  Peter is developing a series of designs which will be available next month with varied themes to complement any space.
Both the TeePee and Totems will soon be available as part of our standard product range. You can view a teaser of the design concepts on our website.

Leading busy lives as we do it is often easy to miss the true essence of what we believe in.  We have all heard the cliche "Can't see the forest for the trees", and I'm guilty of having a blurred perspective occasionally due to distractions beyond my immediate control - as do we all from time to time.
Just recently I was asked to showcase some of our recent project installations to an interstate guest.  It was great to see children and their parents/carers enjoying the fruits of our labour in spectacular SEQ early spring weather, ideal for mid-morning visits to the playground.  Speaking with a few of the parents it dawned on me how much the community relies on great play environments, not only for the kids but as a fantastic social space for mothers of similar ilk.  Like I stated earlier you sometimes just don't see the forest for the trees.  It was so interesting to see how the children, with or without mum's help, climbed, explored, discovered and enjoyed the recreational spaces.  It was extremely encouraging to see children using some of these facilities not only as we had planned, but as they found fit - creating their own play experiences in ways we could not have imagined.
One mother at the new Roma Street Parklands playground said that this was her (and her son's) fourth visit to the playground in 2 weeks, and he loves it more each time.  That was just music to my ears and has to be seen as 'making a difference'.  This experience reminded me why we do what we do, and also reminded me we should do so more often.
Enjoy the parks - they are good for the mind, body and soul.

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