Supported by cultural managers exchange Tandem Europe, Bow Arts Learning collaborated with Dutch art collective TAAT (Theatre as Architecture, Architecture as Theatre) to develop PlayGround, an interactive and participant-led wooden building kit and workshop that explores the intersection between play and learning. The project is informed by education, contemporary art, play, architecture and theatre.
Between February 2016 and February 2017, we co-created PlayGround with teachers, children, artists and colleagues through 12-day placements at each organisation and pilot workshops in three London schools.
The building kit consists of a box of 350 hexagonal wooden discs that can be connected in a number of ways to create structures of varying scales and levels of complexity. The workshop is formed of a series of instructions and interventions that lead participants through a process of working together to construct a large-scale installation. Throughout the workshop, participants are encouraged to build, reflect and refine in teams and independently.
The pilot workshops proved the potential of PlayGround to fulfil and enrich a number of educational and creative agendas in the school context.
We are currently working with Manorfield Primary School on a Building Enquires residency which will explore connections between PlayGround and Philosophy for Children (P4C), which share an open-ended approach, premised on collective enquiry and experimentation. PlayGround provides a dynamic way to extend and make physical P4C enquiries. P4C deepens the experience of collaborative building inherent to PlayGround. Phase 1 of Building Enquiries will facilitate the first step in an ongoing iterative conversation between the two projects.
If you are interested in using the PlayGround toolkit at your school or to find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
See our invitation to schools here.