The difference between space and place is like the difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’. Many tangible and intangible elements combine to create a memorable experience. Good placemaking demands that we consider the end-users by inviting them into the conversation as an important part of the design process. It requires decision-makers to have genuine regard for long-term success and social, cultural, environmental, and economic sustainability. As users and advocates in placemaking efforts, we relish the opportunity to empower communities; engage in meaningful dialogue, facilitate opportunities to listen, and empower communities and design professionals to see possibility all around them.
We know that play fosters imagination, leads to creative solutions, enhances learning about risk that is tolerable and is exploration of the possible. We're excited to partner with Landscape Architect Joy Kuebler to present Playful Placemaking, highlighting a methodology for shaping public spaces through playful interactions, as an opportunity to break down barriers, obtain valuable community input, and shape a public space that truly speaks to and for the community. Using social science to engage communities, playful placemaking utilizes play to offer a podium that works for every voice. Through the power of play, communities can reveal what is in their hearts and step into that power of helping realize their needs alongside their design team.
We invite you to read Playful Placemaking and use the ideas to engage your community in meaningful dialogue about what a public space should be.