Design Trust Futures Studio -
Play is for the People Yi Pei Square Playground (2018)

Due to the densely populated buildings of the surrounding area, Yi Pei Square Playground naturally becomes a gathering space. The activities of the people show a unique sense and feeling of community. For example, the local elderly gathers here every day to talk and to chat; while children and parents pass through after school and often play for a while before going back home.

The design process focuses on public participation. We allowed children to propose some park design concepts and collected opinions of the neighbourhood. In doing so, they become an important resource for our park design and provided us with invaluable input, including commenting on the kind of furniture seats they wish to see in the future park.

The designer team collected opinions through three public engagement sessions, and have established connections with the neighbors. The team has also distributed questionnaires at Yi Pei Square in order to understand specific needs of the residents. Community workshops were held to allow children to participate in park designs; they drew out the parks they had in mind; designed collective games on the playground floor with simple tapes; and came up with their ideal parks with clay, demonstrating their love of games as well as informing the designers of the public’s own ideas. All in all, they will become an important source of inspiration for the park’s design, with some of the park facilities collectively designed as part of an onsite exhibition. The 1:1 prototype as part of the exhibition will also be available for future users to try out.

The design aims to use color to connect the ground of the two squares into a "carpet" for play and to provide fun and challenging children's play facilities. The design also intends to utilize nearby trees for shade and to provide ample seating. The park will be more spacious, open and transparent; vibrant and at the same time natural and comfortable. Children will no longer be limited by space and can play in the“ living room” of this community, while other residents simultaneously connect and interact with each other. The process of redesigning the park involves public participation and increased community engagement. It will also be an extension of service to the community in hopes of connecting it even further.