Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley BA (Hons) Interior Design 2020

Design Thinking & Innovation Award: Commendation

Judge's comment...'Brilliant protagonist research and design solution for a hybrid space...'.

Early in my design career I realised a passion for designing play, understanding its detrimental effects to physical and mental wellbeing in all age groups. My final year extended essay explored play theories and realised the ultimate power of play, enhancing my knowledge around play design.

Living in a fast-paced, highly scheduled society where play-time is limited, lead to research and understanding the importance of play and effects of play deprivation in both adults and children. Play of any form is imperative to psychological development, be it playing with friends in a park in childhood, or daydreaming when doing the washing up in adulthood – play of any form is essential.

Play deprivation is a prominent social issue that can lead to anti-social behaviour such as the petty crimes exhibited throughout the project’s location – Ancoats. Responding to this research, this design aims to integrate play into the lives of the citizens of Ancoats; of all generations occupying the area, to enhance community and wellbeing of occupants, aiming to reduce neighbourhood anxieties and ultimately crime rates.

Allotment is a space that promotes play with intergenerational connections, taking inspiration from the natural environment to enrich play. It allows generations to integrate together and play with one another – sharing play methods, personal skills and stories; building a safe community environment within and outside the space. It combines natural and intergenerational play with additional amenities and entertainment spaces appropriate to each generation. The play space occupies the heart of the building, reflecting multi-generational design principles. Encased in glass, it forms a ‘play capsule’, reflecting a small conceptual project exploring the possibility of capsulising imagination for use in later life.