A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Wilfred, told me that the happiest people on earth live in Denmark (according to Happy, the movie). Further snooping around the web revealed to me that the top five “happiest countries in the world” are all in or around Scandinavia. Sure, while quanitifying happiness is no easy task (and all socio-political economics aside), I suppose wherever bikes are the foremost mode of transportation, sun shines for 20 hours a day, and tulips abound (I know, these are all gross generalizations), it’s no surprise that people would be happy. I’ve always wanted to visit Denmark – even more so after discovering how jovial its inhabitants are – but after seeing these playgrounds by Danish builders, Monstrum, it’s no wonder that Copenhagen, Denmark has now risen to one of my top destinations to visit.
Monstrum’s ideas around playground design are simply delightful:
MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us.
We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes climbing trees. Why only play on a monkey frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojan horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.
As artists and designers and through our experience with building theatrical set-design at numerous theaters in Copenhagen, we have the knowledge to combine elements where not only physical activities and play evolve, but also with a visual story that creates a space where fantasy thrives.
The world is a truly fantastic, colourful and dangerous place for kids to grow up in. The playground has to be an equally inspiring alternative where kids can learn to assess risks in a safe environment.
And I couldn’t agree more with Monstrum’s answer to Jeff Hamada of Booooooom‘s ever-so-important question: “How can we provide opportunities for kids to make real-life discoveries on their own instead of Googling and Youtubing everything?”
Read the Q&A here.
Don’t these playgrounds just make you want to venture, daydream, and play? That reminds me – what are YOU up to this weekend?
Lad os gå!