Too old for the playground, too young for the pub – can we design new spaces in the city for teenagers to occupy on their own terms?
Initially designed for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion, vPPR’s interactive installation and soundscape “Play with(out) Grounds” focuses on public space for young people. The project intends to raise awareness, change common held perceptions and act as a call to action to put the interests of young people in the centre of the design process of public spaces.
“I like the look of vPPR’s Play With(out) Grounds, which addresses the lack of outdoor facilities for teenagers (‘too young for pub, and too old for playground’) and advocates for their needs to be articulated, heard and addressed.”
Pamela Buxton, The RIBA Journal
Play with(out) Grounds is a spherical sculpture, simultaneously referencing a playground structure for young children and the adult world of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and in doing so alluding to the contradictions of public life faced by this “in-between” age group. There is potential to sit on it, lie over it, climb it or dance at its centre – it is a space for interpretation and appropriation by teenagers.
In parallel, the structure is a framework for a soundscape of interviews with young people from diverse social backgrounds carried out by vPPR and social scientist Holger Schoneville. It seeks to make the ignored voices of teenagers heard.
Following the Biennale, the structure has been brought back to the UK. It will be permanently located at the Building Centre on Store Street, London.
British Pavilion 2021: How do we create new spaces for teenagers?