The city’s built environment is constantly changing. Alongside hopes for regeneration and increased opportunity, the ongoing privatisation of public space and the ubiquity of surveillance threaten to cast a shadow of anxiety over this summer’s events and everyday life.
While the 2012 London Olympics offers up the global spectacle of games defined by formality, is there any space left in the city to play by rules of our own making?
Article 31.1 propose a Universal Right to Play inspired by Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. By extending this right to all occupants of the city and raising a collective, social and institutional duty to provide equal opportunities to play for all we offer a vision of a more playful city against which our own can be measured.
We are a collective concerned with the relationship between freedom and play, and for the London Festival of Architecture we bring a programme that explores the city as a play-space. We want to bring play out from the margins to the foreground, highlight its social and cultural value, inspire people to question our space within the city, and rediscover London through free play. We want you to imagine a playful city and help us create it.
We will be mixing it up at the Regents Estate with a weekend playful exhibition and activities; creative and crafty, active and arty.
At Weavers Fields we have cracked open the amazing adventure playground for a rare Sunday session, open to all ages, with workshops by some of the most passionate advocates of kite flying, ping pong and parkour.
For an evening we invade the space at Church of London, hosted by HUCK magazine, to bring together a group of distinct and original voices to discuss play in the built environment, and a screening of urban exploration documentary Crack the Surface.
To see out the final weekend of the Festival, we are heading to Arnold Circus – a historic oasis of play – to join in with their annual Sharing Picnic, games, bike rides and making friends.
We are calling you out to play throughout the Festival – to join us, to ditch our homework, take a punt on the sun, and get out in the city. You might see us all over town, playing with a giant board game that sometimes appears as an architectural sculpture, inviting you to roll the dice and see where it takes you…
We invite fellow playmates to join us in our games and encourage them to play their own. In doing so we test the edges, tip the balance, embrace the flux and take a chance. Let’s take back our city as a place, a space, and a ground for play. Can you come out to play today?