Friday, 7 September 2012

White Hutchinson

I've always been a great fan of White Hutchinson. In my mind as well as being foremost in the provision of high quality, developmentally based playspaces globally, they have a great understanding of and dedication to the construction of nature based playspaces.

I get their eNewsletter and thought I might supply you web links to a few of the articles in their most recent that I enjoyed.

Finding Terroir - A Sense of Place in Outdoor Environments
Describes the sense of place or a space that W.H. attempt to imbibe into each of the playspaces they design and construct. Naturalistic playspaces, unlike KFC playgrounds, are about creating a natural environment, unique to each locale, centre and philosophy.

Ways To Do It Naturally
Discusses the frequently neglected topic of playspace maintenance. Its great to have a marvellous new natural playspace, however, like any space used in childcare, it needs to be maintained so that it's hazard free. When we design and construct a new playspace we provide a free copy of Garden Maintenance for Playspaces so the carers have the information to provide the maintenance.

Prevention of Disabilities in Children: The Environment
Discusses research that indicates toxic environmental risk factors many be responsible for a number of   childhood disabilities and how to avoid them. 

Discusses an often unconsidered factor in outdoor play, air quality. I found this interesting given that I live right next to Sydney's major airport and industrial hub. A number of the centres in the area that I'm in contact with frequently report having to keep their children indoors due to aircraft fuel dumps or refinery breaches. A neighbour who had once lived closer to the industrial area told me of pulling her clothes off the washing line only to find holes burned through the sheets because of airborne acids, "accidently" released by the refinery. The effect on developing lungs would be devastating.

A topic that is covered in A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Vegetables  and something I frequently have to plan for given the limited space in some centres and the legislative requirements in respect to preserving unencumbered space in each design.

I hope you find their articles as enlightening as I did.
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