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Symposium: Playspace

March 8, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Play can be the glue that brings together aesthetic and social values making vibrant community spaces but also poignant social critiques. The symposium brings together speakers from different professional backgrounds to examine the role that play can have in the transformation of place, from the scale of the game, to the playground to that of urban design and planning.

Organized by Julia Jamrozik (Assistant Professor of Architecture) and sponsored by UB School of Architecture and Planning, UB Humanities Institute

‘Making PlayTime (a long time after Jacques Tati)’

Trevor Smith

Trevor Smith will outline his approach to the curating of the upcoming exhibition ‘Playtime’ at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Making the claim that play is a powerful subject for artistic production and social critique, the exhibition will feature not only artists who employ game structures but also those who enact playful behaviors to generate their work and encourage participation and critical dialogue through play.

‘Play, Playgrounds, Playscapes: Is this a Good Time for Unique Designs?’

Susan G. Solomon

Susan Solomon will give an overview of the state of playground design.  She will discuss the pitfalls as well as why we should discount myths of designer liability and children’s vulnerability.  She will also suggest, using recent examples, how we could consider turning playgrounds into more generalized and intergenerational “playscapes.”

‘Horizons of Play’

Jen Maigret

‘Horizons of Play’ explores the potential for indeterminacy to spark imagination in the design of playgrounds and draws innovation from the tensions between safety and freedom present in spaces of play. In particular, the presentation will examine the generative potential of re-drawing lines to challenge boundaries, perceptions and expectations of play and to foster open-ended explorations and vivid experiences.

‘Play: providing the armature for empowerment and creativity to happen everywhere’

Joy Kuebler

The world of creativity can seem scary or intimidating to people whether young or old.  When people feel overwhelmed in a situation, or that they lack something valuable to contribute, they will often step back from participating.   This presentation will introduce how the simple act of playing creates a wholly new experience that empowers participants to be creative, to enthusiastically ask questions and share their insight.  Through Play, the creative process becomes truly participatory.

For detailed information, click here.



March 8, 2017
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


School of Architecture & Planning


403 Hayes Hall – South Campus