City of Children

From 16 till 20 March 2015, the Office for Public Play led the workshop “City of Children” at the master Child Culture Design of HDK, School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg.

The Office for Public Play was invited by Markus Olof Bergstrom of HDK to organise the workshop as part of the master course “Mobility and Play”. The workshop interpreted mobility as a way to research the spectrum of children’s freedom to play in the city. What is the freedom of moving, action and play for children living in the city of Gothenburg? What is the relation of public spaces within this? and, Can this freedom include levels of adult’s supervision?

The master students were asked to design a playful guided tour that gives the participating audience an insight on the child’s freedom to move, act and play in the city of Gothenburg. The guided tour gives a child perspective and was therefor co-designed with a group of children from the 4th grade (10 years) from ISGR, the International School of the Gothenburg Region, located in Guldheden, Gothenburg.

Each day commenced with “Public Time”, a play time session, performed by all master students in public space. The play activities were inspired by Augusto Boal’s Games For Actors and Non-Actors. The students prepared for the co-design session by defining a method and developing cultural probes to facilitate the collaboration. A sensitising exercise is given to the child group in advance. The co-design session took place at Guldhedenstorget square, to learn from working in the real context of public spaces. The master students took the material gained from the co-design session as a base to design their playful guided tour that was finally presented on the square on Friday afternoon.


Co-design session with children

Presentation and testing of the guided tours

Presentation and testing of the guided tours