How often do you have fun while walking down the street? We hope it happens frequently, which is why the second intervention of Blank Page Plaza is all about games. Public spaces have an untapped potential to evoke a sense of playfulness, engage people in activities and spark social interaction. What better way to meet your fellow neighbours than over a round of giant Jenga or basketball game? In recent years, many cities have been focussing on how to facilitate playfulness in the public realm. From yard Yahtzee to musical swings, to trampoline sidewalks, there are endless ways to creatively transform a public space into a zone dedicated to play.
To implement our Fun and Games intervention, we did four things:
- Buy chicken wire, duct tape, wooden dowels and colourful plastic balls to create our own Giant Kerplunk
- Set out sidewalk chalk for people to create their own artwork or games
- Go to Cowboys Casino to pick up multiple decks of playing cards and tape Intelligent Futures flare onto the outside packaging
- Borrow a game of bean bag toss from a generous friend
So far, fun and games seem to successfully engage folks. In the past week, we’ve noticed families joining up for a game of Kerplunk, cowboys tossing bean bags during Stampede, and teenagers creating chalk masterpieces on the sidewalk.
There are indications that the space is being used for late night fun too — after the Canada Day long weekend, we found an empty shot glass and a pack of cigarettes left on one of the #blankpageplaza tables.
We can also report our first incidents of theft — two decks of cards and one wooden stump disappeared from the space on the eve of Stampede (perhaps someone was in need of Stampede props?). Hopefully, this will be the extent of theft that we experience.
Our next intervention will begin next week. Stay tuned for what is coming up, and in the meantime, drop by to Blank Page Plaza to embrace your inner kid!