Designing a more playful city

When was the last time you went out to play? Parkour designer Colin MacDonald believes physical play is as important for adults as it is for kids and asks that we consider designing for play in the often-overlooked parts of our cities. In this entertaining and playful talk, he demonstrates how simple tweaks can make something as ubiquitous as a wheelchair access ramp become an opportunity to explore play, have fun and stay fit as we engage with our cityscapes. Colin MacDonald sees a playground sprouting from the handrails and staircases of the urban landscape. Colin works as a parkour park designer for Parkour Visions, with completed indoor and outdoor projects across the US and Canada. A decade of practicing and teaching parkour has left him with a unique perspective on the importance of challenge and play, as well as a passion for the design and shape of the cityscape. He believes we can design spaces that enable and encourage climbing, jumping, and balancing – without losing functionality or getting ourselves sued. Making a space play-able is all about creating adjacency and connections between objects, while using graphics and visuals to invite people to try something new. “I want moments of play, of physical exploration, to leap out at you and grab five minutes of your day, like a partner pulling you onto the dance floor.”

Topics

Culture, Sport,

Colin MacDonald

Design for Play

Full bio


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