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Faculty of Architecture of Czech Technical University in Prague will host the 4th annual Architecture for Children conference on 3 November. It will focus on the topic of adventure play in the city, especially the Adventure playground concept, which can be found in neighbouring European countries, but is still missing in our country.

Kids today are provided with product play sets in the city, but do these sets give them enough space to play freely and creatively? Where can kids create their own world, build, tear down, test their own strength, estimation and limits? "Let's think about the shape of the contemporary city from the perspective of children: are children equal users of public space? What opportunities do they have to play? The spaces we define for children often take the form of a kind of golden cage: classic fenced playgrounds with serial elements tend to isolate children from urban life, and their design largely dictates not only where but also how they should play. Such play spaces by their very nature cannot meet the needs of children, especially the need for free, creative play," say architects Mirjana Petrik and Magdalena Smetanová from the City Friendly to Children association and the main organizers of the conference.

The Adventure playground concept originated in Denmark in the 1940s and gives urban children what they have gradually lost with increasing density of housing and transport infrastructure. It works with the idea that an inspiring play space should never be completely finished. Children are free to direct their own play, building, cutting, knitting, folding, working with tools.

"Today's children have few opportunities to work with instruments, and there are fewer places where they can freely create and play in an environment they build themselves. Let's put tools in the hands of children and give them the chance to be active creators of their play space, they can do it!" says methodologist and educator Carolina Sidon.

The conference aims to introduce new forms of inspiring play spaces as a natural part of the urban environment. It also wants to stimulate a debate about the possibilities of creating the first such playground in our country and about children as partners in the design, implementation and use of play spaces.

The morning lecture block will be focused mainly on students from CTU Faculty of Architecture. It will outline the current situation, including legislation and possibilities of how to approach the integration of the game into the public space of the city. The speakers will be Mirjana Petrik (Child Friendly City, FA CTU), Katarina Kockova (Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava), Luděk Šebek (Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University), Amica Dall (Assemble Studio, UK) and Yannick Roels (Cultureghem, Belgium).

The afternoon block is aimed primarily at design experts, representatives of state and local government, representatives of leisure activities, but also at active parents who are interested in the concept of adventure play and would like to participate in the support and creation of the first Adventure playground in the Czech Republic.

The round table will also present other, less known or completely unknown concepts of adventure play spaces, such as the travelling playground ("Spielwagen"), the creative playground ("Tvorřiště") and the instant playground ("pop-up" playground). Carolina Sidon (Museum Říčany), Helena Menezes (Risk Vision, Portugal), Justina Danišová (Svobodná hra), Vít Masare (the Green party), Matěj Hájek (Skull studio), Petr Holý (Prague City Hall), Kristina Ullmanová (IPR) and others will take part in the subsequent debate.

More information about the conference can be found on the:

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