Context - Summer 2016 - (Page 18)

BY MEGHAN TALAROWSKI "LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL."  - HELEN KELLER If you have visited a playground built in the United States in last 20 years, you might have noticed a pattern: cushy rubber surfacing, colorful structures, and surrounded with fence. The playgrounds look great (if they have been maintained), they probably cost a lot and the community pats itself on the back for having built something safe for their children. The problem is that in the pursuit of safety, we have actually allowed something far more sinister to take its place: boredom. Boredom is not in and of itself a bad thing. Most adults can wax nostalgic about the days they were pushed out of the house to "go play" and out of boredom they explored, rode bikes, built forts and invented games with their friends. But the boredom that children are experiencing in today's playgrounds is something new. If you look around a playground now, you rarely see a child above the age of 7 or 8. They are yielding to the siren call of video games and TV because playgrounds have become so sanitized, so safe, that they have lost the intrinsic quality that children seek out in play - a healthy dose of risk. Our society has become obsessed with keeping children safe and reducing risk. Parenting today has become a constant battle against a variety of evils (SIDS, kidnappers, processed foods) and to the untrained eye these playgrounds are a panacea. Children 18 SUMMER 2016 | context | AIA Philadelphia PHOTO: MEGHAN TALAROWSKI RISKY BUSINESS: THE DANGERS OF PLAYGROUNDS THAT ARE TOO SAFE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Summer 2016

Editor's Letter
Up Close
Rediscovering the Neighborhood: Creating a healthy environment of Care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Risky Business: The Dangers of Playgrounds That Are Too Safe
Senior Living, LGBT Style
Design Profiles
Index to Advertisers

Context - Summer 2016