This is the project page for the Glen Eden Library Pop-up Play Junction project, funded by the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and designed by The Open Fort.

Want to get involved, offer some feedback or other input? Contact Toby at toby@theopenfort.com / 0211 252 452

How to Play

This space is designed to be a freeform play space for parents and children to make up their own games and playful activities. There are many hidden words, flowers, trains and other objects scattered within the train tracks for you to find and make up playful activities with.

We will also be adding more playful prompts and games throughout January and February to help families enjoy the space

Pop-up Play Events

Two pop-up play events are planned to help activate the space in January – dates to come.

Background

Auckland Council’s Community Empowerment Unit and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board (as well as other local community organisations) are keen to support a placemaking project to engage young people in the Glen Eden town centre through temporary play installations. This placemaking approach aims to increase residents’ experience of connection, belonging and safety in the town centre through a co-design process. 

The project aligns with the Local Board outcome for the Glen Eden town centre.  This is an activation programme which aims to support the design and implementation of a programme of community-led activities that help make Glen Eden a more attractive, welcoming and inclusive town centre, including by activating public and community spaces with events, running creative workshops, and enabling culturally diverse experiences.

The Brief

To encourage young people in the area outside the Glen Eden Library to feel safe, be active and develop social connections.

To do this through community co-designed active, playful installations that can be monitored & evaluated by community stakeholders.

Proposal

To create a semi-permanent playful space outside the Glen Eden Library. This will be aimed at families visiting the library, school children using the area while waiting for the bus as well as encouraging youth to visit and linger in the area in a positive manner.

We (The Open Fort) intend to build on previous project designs to devise ideas that can be shared with local stakeholders and further developed as collaboratively as possible. These ideas will be shared online for feedback and further content/activity development.

Initial co-design workshops (run at the Library) will be based around a set of parameters, including (but not limited to):

  1. An intention for play installations that do not need any other loose physical items
  2. The play installations should be able to be removed at the end of the trial period and the area returned to its original state (unless the local community would prefer them to stay)
  3. Several different play installation designs can be tested in the scope of this project
  4. There is potential to host pop-up activities to help activate the space and garner feedback

Objectives and Outcomes

The objectives and outcomes can be summarised as creating:

  1. Increased Active Lifestyles – To create a healthy, fun and activated space that encourages families to play and keep fit together while shopping
  2. Community Ownership – To create a sense of belonging with the place, inspiring social connection and community ownership
  3. A Vibrant, Safe Destination – To create a place where the town centre becomes a ‘vibrant’ destination for children and safe spaces for pedestrians

Examples from previous projects

As creatives, placemakers, game designers and active play designers, we have worked on a variety of playful activations. Below is a small sample of some of our recent projects, including:

  • The Space Maze – a playful installation activating Aotea Square using ground decal stickers
  • Welcome to the Jungle – another playful installation using ground decal stickers in Newmarket Station Square
  • Retro Racing – a racing track in Pt England installed using stencils and spray paints
  • New Windsor Play – interactive community engagement using durable pole wrap-arounds
  • Changing Lanes – a beautification project using stencils and temporary chalk-spray