Recently Roslindale Wants to Play welcomed the community to a design charrette to discuss improvements to the Sumner School’s rear walkway. Although we were competing with beautiful weather that we feared might divert our intended audience – play space enthusiasts – out to local playgrounds, we were delighted by the strong turnout, which included several Sumner School students. Once underway, the project’s design team – architects and other design professionals from Stantec and Studio G – led the group through exercises intended to help the team better understand the community’s preferences for the use of the space.
In the first activity, the design team laid out photographs from play spaces around the world and asked the participants to affix stickers to their favorites. There was also a space provided to write in specific comments about what made a particular design great or what might not work so well. Once everyone had a chance to react to all of the inspiration photos, the group was asked to sort each of the photos into one of three categories: “this would be perfect at the Sumner School”, “this could work here”, or “this doesn’t belong here”. Click through the gallery below to see what kind of designs inspire our community – the green stickers show the community’s “votes” for each design idea.
The second half of the design session allowed participants to propose their own design for the walkway. Each attendee was provided with a sheet of paper with a rendering of the walkway printed on it, including the location of the trees and fences. The paper could be folded to create a simple three dimensional model of the space depicting the fences on either side of the walkway. The participants then used markers, sponges, pipe cleaners, and other materials to help the designers understand what types of elements might help make the space great.
The response to this design session was tremendous, and we are looking forward to seeing the design team’s response to the community’s enthusiasm.