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AS SALGUEIRAS, LABORATORY OF IDEAS At the As Salgueiras Foundation, sponsored by Galopín, we say that working side by side with rehabilitation doctors, physical therapists and grassroots organisations has helped us to do a better job. We were the first ones to get physical therapy equipment out into the public areas.
CSR is a topic that should not be targeted to a reputational aspect. In part because virtue is not preached but practiced. At Galopín, CSR has helped us to do our jobs better, to meet professionals with whom we share awareness for areas such as infancy, sports, disability, the elderly, education…
In this relationship or common work towards altruistic goals, we learn about what should guide all of the aspects of design, communication, and the conceptual definition of our line of work. We learn to do our job, to make an honest product, to facilitate access to a larger share of the population, with a product that is competitive, safe and correctly defined and executed.
Planning urban equipment always entails a high degree of responsibiity. Besides the good management of public funds, something that is specially necessary in current times, to act on the public scope means to try to give shape to the ideal of the common good. This demand, that is present in every infrastructure project, takes a stronger form when it comes to design parks or play areas. Pedagogy must guide the design of each game, taking into account the nature of the child and their needs for expression and development. Only this pedagogic focus can guarantee and appropriate combination of elements and spaces that, in turn, constitute the basic requirement that would ensure that a park creates the type of essential relationships and personal, social and cultural values. As an example, we could strictly comply with the demands of the reference standard to manufacture a play element that would fulfil the access requirements and specified game challenges that are appropriate for older children or pre-adolescents. But if, like we have seen in some catalogues, we place a little multi-coloured flower on top of a post
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on a game designed for children with certain muscle abilities, the users, which will be preadolescents in a self-affirmation stage, will feel rightly offended, and will end up damaging or destroying the element. However, if the game were painted in more sober colours, eliminating the flower, being more appropriate for an older age group, this game will be respected by them. Another example we have noted is when rock climbing walls with a two-metre height fall are painted with primary colours, or adorned with letters and shapes that are similar to those used for primary school children, or the games for children who are learning to read. For the older children, who are usually the users, this game will be offensive to their maturity and for the little ones it will be seen as an incentive for them to use it, with the foreseeable danger. In short, in order to create good play elements, one must be a lot more than a skilled professional in wood or steel making, or even an experienced engineer or someone who knows the standards. Above all, one must know quite a lot of things that are inherent to the game being designed.
UNDERSTAND THE PEDAGOGY OF THE CHILD ABOVE ALL In the development of the child, there are several growth stages that must be taken into account when it comes to designing a play area. The game must be appropriate to the precise developmental stage of the child and his/her needs. The design language that is used expresses and transmits the play element inconsistently to user to whom it is intended. This psychological characteristic of the design must be taken into account in order to serve the natural needs of the user.
• Material: the best • Norm: Comply it • Quality: the best
WE MUST PROTECT KIDS
STANDARD REFERRING TO PLAY ELEMENT ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD 1176-1:2008 220.127.116.11 PLAY AREA EQUIPMENT THAT IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE •Ladders are an easy means of accessing the element, unless the first step has a height exceeding 400 mm from the surface of the ground. •Stairs are an easy means of accessing the element. •Ramps are an easy means of accessing the element. •Step platforms with a difference in height lower than 600 mm are considered to be an easy means of accessing the element.
Note: There are other means of access that can be designed to reduce the freedom of movement and make access more difficult, and to give caretakers more time to interfere as needed.
Left: The free fall height is indicated by the manufacturer and results from the measurement of the distance between a platform a seat or a net and the ground. Said height will define the type and thickness of the impact absorption material. Bottom: Separate by age groups. The standard makes two distinctions: over and under 36 months old (with different requirements for each case).
THE PLAYGROUND AS THE ELEVATING FACTOR IN RESIDENTIAL QUALITY potential. This comparative scenario proves The quality of a public space has always been itself when in the visualization materials used the best instrument to measure the collective self by estate developers, builders, engineering esteem of a community. The trend in growing offices, and architecture firms in order to get the countries is that residents should physical attention of potential clients. elements to differentiate their space from those in neighbouring communities. The best reflection Naturally, human beings of this feeling is the wish tend to emulate and imitate to provide their collective “the increase in social and economic each other, especially so spaces with – seen as when it comes to promote showcases – with high quality development, has forced a higher rate spaces that endorse their amenities with the obvious of quality in collective use equipment, social standing. In the last purpose of increasing demanded by the residents themselves few decades, the increase the perception of a high as a reflection of their increased in social and economic degree of development standard of living” development, has forced and transmitting the idea of exclusivity in front of others.
The playground, because it has a strong social sensitivity component, and because of the viability of its configuration and design, is the area that usually sets the standard for quality and, consequently, creates a higher selling
a higher rate of quality in collective use equipment demanded by the residents themselves as a reflection of their increased standard of living. The playground equipment industry is special in that different municipalities and estate
developments look themselves in their nearest neighbours’ mirrors to imitate and avoid being left behind under the constant scrutiny of their keepers: voters and citizens. This process also takes place in the scope of new housing developments, since the consumer is attracted not by the quality of the building or the specifics of the house – this is private space – but by the shared spaces and collective amenities that they offer, a public space that shows others how we live. It is also common for developers to take on the construction and installation of these collective spaces even before the entire housing development is complete, since the best incentives for the purchase of a private residence are the amenities and socialisation services found in the common areas.
to invest a large amount of money on their children’s education already assumes the quality of the faculty and support staff. Again, what reinforces the investment decision is service that goes hand to hand with the intangibility of teaching. The possibilities for fun, physical exercise, and leisure are tools for sales that these institutions rely on in order to attract new student enrolment. In societies featuring progress and strong economic growth, the planning and installation of an exclusive play area helps to increase self and, therefore, the quality of life of the citizens enjoying it. Furthermore, this process tends to repeat itself in surrounding areas, sort of like landscape contagion.
The same situation takes place in prestigious schools and educational institutions that seek to attract new students. A family that is willing
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