Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Continued on page 20 18 Landscape Architect and Specifier News In a 2014 study by Donna Rodman, BCSLA, students at Norgate Community Elementary School in British Columbia were asked to draw and make dioramas to express ideas for a new play space. Sixty-five percent of the students who presented their ideas for the play space through their drawings and dioramas were from the First Nations community. Norgate Community Elementary School in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a public school with a diverse, underserved community. Sixty-five percent of the student population is First Nations and 35% of the student population comes from middle income, mixed ethnic backgrounds. The school needed an interactive space that not only engaged the students in nature using ecological and culturally significant principles, but also served to engage the greater community offering reconciliation, gathering of families and elders, and opportunities for music, theatre, and storytelling. With this big idea came the G.R.E.A.T. Space design project. But how do we design for the experiential expectations and learning outcomes for such a Gathering. Reconciliation. Ecological. Agora. Theatre. Space? Between 1979 and 1999, it was determined that children's free time activity outside (United States stats) had diminished by 38% due to longer school days. Adults organized after-school activities, and the urbanization of spaces, parental fears for their children's safety, and the impact of plugged-in play contributed to the diminished outside time. In 1997, Dr. Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong published "Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard." In 1999, the author conducted child and parent surveys and interviews in the lower mainland of Vancouver and north and west Vancouver, British Columbia. The thesis resulted in a matrix on 93 children's preferences to playing in nature and compared the frequencies of the ranked importance of play elements for children to early child behavior theorists Bernaldez, Ellis, Hart, Lyons, Moore, Morris, Piaget and Scarfe. The 1999 research results indicated that children Outdoor Interactive Spaces p l a y g ro u n d By Donna M. Rodman, BCSLA, CSLA – Registered Landscape Architect Collaborators: Lisa Upton (Principal), Victor Elderton (Vice Principal), Fran Bourassa (Community Education Facilitator) The G.R.E.A.T. (Gathering. Reconciliation. Ecological. Agora. Theatre. Space) Design Project

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