Has the play movement* done it’s job? Do we even need to save it? Should we just shut up and let playful people remake the world, in a onesie, one library at a time?

Definition (extract – Encyclopaedia Ludica, 5th edition 2027)

*Play Movement, The  (UK terminology, see disambiguation)

”The Play Movement, characterised by its obsession with free play for its own sake, the garish primary-coloured clothing of its fervent early adherents and their wearing enthusiasm, was born in the squats of Notting Hill, in the 1960s. Some say that it was influenced by the Dutch ‘junk playground’ experiments, and the Arts Lab movement. Others trace its genesis to the free festival ‘Playstock’, held in a field near Bolton, Lancashire, where a massive artwork featuring a large number of small holes dug in the ground was created by participants. An early presaging of crowd-based art, that also inspired  a verse in the Beatles’ song “Day in the Life”.  Since the late 1980s, the movement, some say, took a wrong turn and became mired in the qualification structures of childcare. Meanwhile, in wider society, playfulness blossomed.”

(Authors: Fernando Pessoa and Hugo Grinmore. ©Wintermute/Geneva AI holdings SARL)

That entry forms a preamble to this interesting article:

Would More People Use the Public Library If It Had a Water Slide?

“In 2010, Poland’s National Library performed a survey to determine the reading habits of the Polish citizenry. The results were not buoying: 56 percent of Poles had not read a book in the past year, either in hard or electronic form. Just as bad was that 46 percent had not attempted to digest anything longer than three pages in the previous month – and this included students and university graduates.

But who’s to blame here: The willfully non-literate masses for not trekking to the public library? Or is it the library’s fault for not attracting these individuals, what with its classically stodgy, hermetic-cage-for-learning design?

At least one Polish architect believes libraries should bear some of the blame for a lack of reading. Hugon Kowalski, who runs UGO Architecture and Design, thinks that no matter how grand or inspiring a library’s appearance is, many people will not flock to it unless it offers amenities other than plopping down with a book. “A modern building will not attract new users to a library, at least not in the long run,” he writes. “People interested in its novelty will probably go there only once.” So Kowalski conceived of a new kind of library…“

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/03/would-more-people-use-public-library-if-it-had-water-slide/5019/

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