‘Child in the City’ is a wide and actual concept. During my graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven I focused on “lack of physical exercise and space for playing outdoor” for children, in particular in cities.

Playing outdoor and with that children’s natural need to move is intimidated by various spatial developments, think about: building intensity, more scarcer and expensive space, increase of paved roads and parking lots, increasing scale and unsafe and anonymous streets.

Children should play without worries and use their fantasy freely. Whereas new and unique situations are most interesting for them, today’s public playgrounds are fenced off and lled up in detail. Assigned to specially allocated playgrounds suggests that playing has become a semi-public part of the public space. This in contrary to the street benches (for adults), which are a fully integrated part of the public space; parks, residential areas, even city-centers.

Space in cities is very scarce, leaving to very limited possibilities for the creation of public playgrounds in cities. Considering the space already occupied by street furniture at present there is an option of replacement, or maybe better: addition.

Multiple use of space; In my designs, I combined the functions of street furniture for both young and old. STREET FUN brings both worlds together and integrates the opportunity for playing in the public space.

This combination of ‘sitting’ and ‘playing’ promotes the social interaction between young and old. The distance between the various pieces of equipment can be limited, enhancing the attainability and the opportunities for spontaneous encounters of children.

Children will feel themselves more valued in the city because they will not be banned to speci cally allocated areas. Because of this more prominent role in the public space, children will re-integrate in the city, like in the old days when children were a normal part of street life.

At this moment STREET FUrNiture is represented in the collection of Nijha B.V..


Date: June 2006
Stainless steel, wood, polyester
Production: Blowups & Nijha
Photography: Leonie Janssen