Fixed Parks: Fifty First Dates
In the movie 50 First Dates, Lucy suffered from anterograde amnesia, she forgot what she did the previous day,she had no long term memory. Fixed parks are like that, you can bring equipment to use in them, but the next day these parks start with a clean slate and you gotta bring the equipment again.
Unlike Lucy's brain , a functional memory system will add new memories over time. Public Libraries act as " memory systems" for communities. By making "libraries" of recreation equipment available in or near "Parks", these "parks with a memory" will be able to learn the recreation needs of community members.
The concept of involvement and participation
underlies this whole report. It seems central to the
comments of all our consultants. Rand has
summarized the point when he says, "Designed
environments which are thought out. formalized,
and complete are usually lifeless' and
unapproachable because (a) they do not invite
interaction and modification to suit immediate
human needs; (b) they are unable to grow, develop
and become extended through human use. Human
habitation merely fulfills (for better or far worse)
the designer's conception of their potential
meaning rather than leading to the discovery
of new functions and new forms of interaction."
New York, New York
New York, New York
Lawrence Halprin and Associates 1968
How NOT to Cheat Children The Theory of Loose Parts, Simon Nicholson
There is a park down the block from where I live
It opened in 1961, in 1996, 35 years later it was reconstructed . 18 years later in 2014 its sidewalk games were repainted..
Since 1961 it has learned something new a total of 2 times.
At this fixed park, learning happens over decades.
Several blocks away from where I live is a Branch Library.
Other then a few books in its historic collection, I suspect that there are no books at this branch that go back to 1961.This is because of -the periodic purchase of new equipment (books etc)
-interbranch lending, where new "equipment" is added on a daily basis.
At this Loose Park, learning occurs on a daily basis.
Intelligent playspaces s will one day be built through virtual reality and other computer means. Play libraries are a low cost way to offer intelligent playspaces today.