Why Play is Key to Resilience and Re(Imagined) Learning Environments

Speakers:

Fiona Young
Architect
Hayball Architects

Natalia Krysiak
Architect
Hayball Architects

AIA LU:

Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:
Abstract:

As famously said by Albert Einstein ‘play is the highest form of research’. Through play, we are instinctively challenging and testing the limits of our physical abilities, emotional behaviours and social relationships with others. Play provides us with a safety net for taking risks and exploring radical ideas through a highly creative process. Studies in neurological science have shown that a brain that is provided with plenty of play opportunities, is one which which can adapt in unknown environments and unexpected situations. A skill which is a vital component in building resilience.   When used as a learning tool, play has been found to foster creativity, problem solving, social skills and improved physical and mental health. At a time when mental health and obesity problems are on the rise in many western countries – the enormous benefits of play have never been more relevant and vital to consider.   This presentation will delve into the critical question of reimagining learning environments which promote playfulness – not just in the classroom but throughout entire cities. The presenters will question the notion of a learning environment bound by the classroom, and propose ideas of playful learning which naturally weave into the design and planning of cities.   Offering insights for designers, educators, administrators and landscape architects, the content will synthesize the importance of learning, environment, activity and landscape in encouraging ÔplayfulÕ learners for life. Through the lens of various built and unbuilt projects, the session will offer a new perspective on play as the key to re-imagined learning environments, fostering resilient communities which are constantly adapting and learning.

Learning Objectives:
  • At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to identify the key benefits of play to positive learning outcomes.;
  • Acquire new knowledge relating to the social and economic benefits to communities where playful learning interventions are instigated.
  • Develop new ideas relating to physical and cognitive affordances which are associated with increased play of children.;
  • Learn about best practices relating to play intervention and acquire a set of exemplars which showcase current industry developments in this field.
Primary Competency:

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Primary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

Secondary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

Additional information:

Through the lens of various built and unbuilt projects, the session will offer a new perspective on play as the key to re-imagined learning environments, fostering resilient communities which are constantly adapting and learning.