Until now, action to improve the lives of children and young people has tended to focus on the institutional spheres of home and school. Yet quality of life also depends on the access to and quality of shared resources such as streets, parks, town centres and playgrounds. And here, in the everyday spaces of our towns and cities, we increasingly exclude and marginalise the young. In the pursuit of sustainable communities and urban renaissance, children and young people are too often left out of the script.
This is the point think tank Demos make in their report ‘Seen and Heard: Reclaiming the public realm with children and young people’. To launch this report, Demos organised an event with Lord Richard Rogers and the Rt Hon Beverly Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families.
To make the content of the report more tangible we made a subtle intervention in the street in front of the event. Based on the way the lines drawn on the street tell us how to behave in a public space, we created an abstract pattern of more playful lines. By mixing different game-structures, words and objects, the installation still prompts playful behaviour but doesn’t impose a closed set of rules.