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University recruits ‘pint-sized’ experts to design new playground

The University of Queensland (UQ) is looking to design one of Brisbane’s newest playgrounds by enlisting the help of those best qualified to come up with ideas – the youngsters who will be using it.

UQ has been running a competition encouraging children in the local community to ‘get creative’ with their coloured pens, pencils and markers and draw a ‘dream space’ for an all-inclusive play area at the university’s St Lucia campus.


Dr Eimear Enright, Researcher at UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, said that using the valuable feedback of children and young people recognised the value of play in children’s lives.

“There are countless theories and perspectives on why children play and why play matters for children, but everyone agrees play is fundamental to the health and well-being of children,” she said. “By enlisting the end-users to help with the design of this project we’re acknowledging from the beginning that children are the experts.”

The idea is the playground will be as inclusive as possible for children of all abilities, and as such the university has been seeking input from young people with disabilities during the design phase. Feedback has been sought for two weeks, with tomorrow (March 29) the closing date.


Greg Pringle, Chief Operating Officer at UQ, added: “We feel the best way to ensure the playground appeals to children and their families is to get them to help us create it. The playground will be a destination the whole family can enjoy, so we’re keen to get input from parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends.”

Author: Simon Weedy

2 comments op “University recruits ‘pint-sized’ experts to design new playground”

Aminah Ricks|05.04.18|17:49

This is such a great initiative. My work with Future Planners in Brooklyn NY, involves a similar process of giving young children the chance to design their ideal playgrounds via drawings and models.

Curious, what age range was involved in this project?

Aminah Ricks
Future Planners

Simon Weedy|05.04.18|20:00

Dear Aminah, thanks for your comments. The age range was not specified, and we felt that it was sufficient to say it was children per se. The story was published shortly before the closing date of the actual design competition, largely because our key audience is child professionals, rather than parents, and so we weren’t aiming to help invite actual entries. The story was sourced from Melbourne University and they may be able to provide you with further information, I hope that is of help? The link to the original press information is

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