Play for All Competition by Go Play! Project, Mae Sot, Thailand, 2011
Building a fort, out of boxes, pillows, sheets – anything that comes in handy – to act as an infrastructure for play, is a very common childhood activity. These make-shift structures allow for an engagement in playful behaviours that require a certain level of privacy, fantasy, sense of ownership. We are proposing to blow the child’s fort up in terms of architectural scale, thereby setting up the infrastructural framework for a variety of play to occur on a communal, congregational level. Despite several specifically programmed moments in the proposed structure, our approach to play is not prescriptive. The playground is merely a field for play to develop.
While the proposed structure is almost entirely transparent, it is also rather informal, perhaps even awkward, to actually access for adults – by climbing onto a narrow slide, by crawling through a tire tunnel, squeezing through tight openings in the frame. Emergency adult supervision may be possible via a dedicated entry, but the intent is for children to feel as if they are devising their own way of entering into their own place. Once inside, they are free to invent their own manner of play, whatever that may be, or to simply run around and around.