SEASON 4 Intergenerational
Play Space
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Multidisciplinary experts
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Co-creation teams

Why Co-create an “Intergenerational Play Space”?

Open spaces are used by the general public, regardless of age or background.  Everyone should have a say in the design of an open space. Through the co-creation process, design teams listened to user feedback and gathered user ideas to generate implementable design concepts.

Design thinking is the foundation to the co-creation process.  The two-day co-creation workshop gathered the general public, regardless of age, profession and background, to co-create ideas that would promote the theme of “intergenerational play space”.

Why Kowloon Park Fitness Trail?

Kowloon Park is one of the biggest and most iconic parks in Hong Kong with a large catchment area. Diverse user group and a varied provision of facilities and attractions mean that there are plenty of opportunities for intergenerational interaction.

The Fitness Trail is in close proximity to facilities catering for users of a wide age range. However, it is relatively quiet and lightly used when compared to other parts of the park. Lushly vegetated along the way and conveniently located, the Fitness Trail has good potential to promote physical activity and intergenerational play for all. The collaboration with Architectural Services Department and Leisure and Cultural Services Department to explore how to transform the Kowloon Park Fitness Trail through participatory co-design will set an example in developing the new park design concept in Hong Kong.

Why Prosperous Garden?

Prosperous Garden is an ageing housing estate managed by the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS). About 10% of its residential units, i.e. 159 flats, are designated for senior housing. The estate’s 5,850 sqm public garden has the potential to become a showcase privately owned public space (POPS) that promotes “ageing-in-place” and intergenerational inclusiveness.

The increasing number of ageing tenants inspired HKHS to partner with DISI to explore how public spaces under their management can be reimagined to champion their “Ageing-in-Place” initiative to support intergenerational play, promote elderly tenants’ well-being and increase their resilience to health decline. It is hoped that this participatory co-design exercise will help to create new models for developers as reference in revamping public spaces of ageing housing estates to meet their future users’ needs.

Co-creation Day 1

“Meet the Users” for Empathy Building

Empathy and understanding is a vital start to the co-creation process. Each co-creation team had the opportunity to speak with children, youth, parents, young-olds, elderlies and property management and park managers to understand each of these personas’ desires and frustrations with play space.

Site Visit and Analysis

Each team visited their assigned sites to gain a better understanding of its location, context and situation from the perspective of each persona interviewed.

Co-creation Day 2

Problem Definition using “How Might We”

With the understanding of user needs and site context, each team discussed and defined the problems they aim to solve with their own “how might we” question.

Ideation

Each team began to brainstorm ideas to tackle their “how might we” question and plotted them on a site model using flags and post-it notes.

Expert Surgery Session

Experts from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong Housing Society, The Salvation Army and Hong Kong Occupational Therapy Association provided valuable advice to improve the implementability of each co-creation team’s ideas.

Prototyping and Idea Expression

With the advice and guidance from the experts,  each co-creation team produced a conceptual site model to express their vision for an “Intergenerational Play Space” in Kowloon Park and Prosperous Garden.

Six Design Considerations

From the design concept and prototypes, the co-creation teams summarized 6 design considerations which may be applied in future sign for Intergenerational Play Space

Spatial Integration

Integrate play equipment designed for users of different age into one area. Replace hard boundaries with soft boundaries, such as replacing fences with colours to avoid separating children and elderly facilities.

“Age-neutral” Designs

Multi-purpose, age-neutral designs can increase facilities provision, promote intergenerational interaction and more efficient use of space.

Intergenerational Play Equipment

Encourage intergenerational interaction with equipment that combines functions of elderly fitness with children play.

Make Use of Unique Spatial Characteristics

Interactive features such as chalkboards can be integrated into vertical walls, nets and climbing rocks can be placed in the space between a winding trails to offer more options of interaction.

Make Use of Available Technology

Implement existing technology into the park design so that users of all ages can benefit from technology such as digital interactive games, health tracking or augmented reality (AR).

User-centric Management

Understand the community’s need to enable more considerate public space management and design.