Feedback from Gerry

Today I gave the improved plan to Gerry, and got some valuable suggestion as follow.  

I have had a look at your concept plan and it seems better. Just a couple of points;

I think the petting zoo is a bit tricky in an open park without protection. I know that this is only a theoretical park but I think you should consider the reality of the park. The animals would have to be protected.

 I think you should mention for the DIY area that the park should have rangers or other staff to supervise the letting out of the items. You should mention that the park once had rangers and that you want to reintroduce this element. You should think imaginatively about how they would work in the park and that a source of funding would be required.

Remember in the garden area that there is very wet parts, so think of appropriate plants.

Mention that there was a quarry in the north east of the park and that there would be potential that this could emerge again as a place for children and adults to enjoy, with interpretation etc. You should be aware that the local community have asked for a Multi Use Games Area and this is planned in the sports zone. However I’m not sure how this answers your brief for an area that is both for parents and children as these areas are usually for children on their own. It would be interesting to see how you think these areas will look.


Discuss about the plan

Today I met with Gerry introduced by Irene. He is a landscape designer and works in Dundee City Council. As I finished all the research process, it is time to conduct the outcome. The initial but the most important thing is the design plan ofBaxterPark.

I show Gerry the current ideas distribute in different areas. He agreed with the sports part and the family garden part. But he suggested me had better do not transform the lawn ground in front of pavilion house because that’s the flexible place. It is very important for some activities like Olympic game. Hence he didn’t think that’s a good idea to transform in front of pavilion house. And also, he suggest I divide the sports area into two parts and move the ideas in front of pavilion house to the behind of pavilion house. While the quite rest place move to the south area which is allotment place currently.

In terms of how to realize the ideas, he suggested to take full advantage of the glass house. Some items like bicycle, grass skiing, brick toys and self garden can borrow the tools in glass house. I may not need to transform the park but I can provide the service to show visitors that they can take these activities in the special place. So I must communicate with the staff inBaxterParkhow to run this work in detailed.

Interview with visitors in Baxter Park

Today I interviewed with visitors inBaxterParkfor the purpose of understanding what adults like. I asked people who take children into the park about what problems they may face and what they interested in to play with children. Because I already done a workshop in youth café and find children’s interests, I must find their common interests so that I can design some items that can put them together.

In the process of communication, I found most adults seemed very happy only watch their children playing. When I asked what their like when taking children to the park, they came up with the ideas only from their children’s view instead of what their own like. Almost all of them told me that as long as their children like, they also like. They feel happy play with children no matter what game are. Only what they considered was there are no suitable service facilities for them that they can play together. For example, the size of the play hole was too small that they cannot across the hole together. Therefore, my design ideas could focus on what children’s like and provide chance for parents so that they can play together. Besides, they worried about no shelter and no enough play facilities for children. This could be considered in to my design.

And also, I asked people to choose the ideas they dislike or improper. The feedback as follow:

Rocking net bed -may dangerous for children, they may fall down.

Water landscape –deep water maybe unsafe for very young children.

Jogging/ Magic cube/ Chess– may not fun for children.

Tandem bicycle – dangerous for passerby.

Toy bricks –They think prepare material is very troublesome.


The weather turned to rain soon from big sunny. Many people didn’t take umbrella and had to return home in panic. This remind me that shelter is so important due to the unstable weather. And I can even design some game under the shelter to avoid boring waiting time.

From this interview I understand that the adults like what children like. They only need a bigger size or more suitable facilities for they can play together. And they also pay much attention to the safety issues. This guide my project to a more appropriate direction.

A workshop with Children in Youth Café

Today I ran a workshop with 6-12 years old children in Youth café. This workshop managed by three youth artist workers. Here is the instruction of this workshop:

Aims: Design the ideas from children’s view & Test the design ideas

Duration of play: 1 hour

The Process:

Session 1: Write, draw or make model to express their dreams when they playing with parents in Baxter park. Each group could come up with some ideas related to their theme. Or they can borrow the ideas from Ideas Board, but it need to be more creative and different from the original one. They can integrate them with other things and create new items or even transform it as they like.

They can show and explain their works to other groups when they complete it. Other groups could choose their favorite one in this group and the winner can earn a gift.

Session 2: Choose the ideas they dislike or the items they will never play in the park, and give the simple reason.

About the ethic issues, I write a consent form and clarify the non-identifying photos could only be used for educational purpose. And we sign on the form.

I got really a great deal of information from this workshop. It is said that it’s hard to organize children and get information from them, but I think this not true. I was fascinated by children’s imagination, they could design some think much creative even than adults. For example, they hope the road can make sound, so they design a piano road to attract visitors. They add a small shelter on top of climb frame so that people can view the whole scenery inBaxterPark. As adults, this make us feel a bit diminished by comparison. In the process, I understood children’s thought and what the world they would like. This could help my design be more attractive.

Besides, I asked them to choose the ideas they dislike and give me the reasons. Due to come from the different country, I’m not familiar with the local culture and custom, I’m worried that some are improper ideas. I want to test the ideas because maybe some of them are not suitable to appear in the park. They told me their opinion below:

Jogging – it seems boring and they like run everywhere.

Electronic toy like Robot– seems annoying and noisy.

Magic cube – maybe too difficult for them.

Rocking net-bed -they worried they may fall down.

Toy bricks- and it’s hard to prepare the material.

This workshop gave me valuable information. It told to me what I design must based on real person’s need not just only from my point of view. In the end of the workshop, one adorable child amusedly told to me “oh, you are welcome”, this made me feel warm. I will never forget the precious moment.

Meeting with Jeanette and Kate- about solving the ethic issuse

After the last meeting with Jeanette, I try to solve the issues I face.  The first issue is the design ideas are too basic so that I need to make it more creative. Thus I ran a workshop to co-design with 6 design students and get plentiful information from it. In terms of the second issue about how to bridge the gaps between children and adults, I did lots of desk research and found that it is significant to find the common interests between them. I intend to run a workshop in Youth Cafe to design the ideas from children’s view and get inspiration from them. And also, I could test the current ideas which they dislike.

record  of conversation 

– I analysis the physical and behaviours in different stage age children. I found that the 0-2 babies often hold by parents and 13-18 teenage like to play with peers rather than parents. Thus I intend to focus on 3-12 age children because this group likes outdoor activities and this is also the important parenting period as well.

-In terms of the workshop with children, it is critical to solve the ethic problem. Jeanette suggested me to write an introduction to show the process of the workshop and an ethic form to clarify the use of image. Or I can ask staff to help me conducting the workshop. It is a more safe way.

-I can also ask the staffs in our college who have 3-12 years old children to express their dream park.

-Due to much work must be done within four weeks, Jeanette suggested me to make a clear timetable to avoid panic.

This meeting helped me to know how to run the workshop with children more smoothly and safely. In the next, I will run a workshop with children and interview with parents in the park to find their common interests.

To sovle the ethic problem of workshop with children, I met with Kate in the afternoon. She told me that I connot directly work with children or video them, thus ask staff conducting this instead of me is a much safe way. And also, I should prepare a ethic form to show the process of the workshop and an to clarify the use of image- “I consent to images only be used for educational purpose”. And then let them sign on the form. I must respect the culture and law here, thus every thing I do must follow rules.

Organize the Current Thoughts

Today, I organized the current thougts about my project.


The current issues I face now are:

-How to make the ideas more creative?

-How to bridging the gaps through my service?

-Too many items design for children and adults to better choose some of them for depth development.

-Different stage age of children have different recognitions and abilities. How to meet the ends of each stage?

Then, I came up with what to do next.

-Desk research and inspired by the innovation thing even apparently have no relationship with my project.

-Co-design with friends and get new insight from others.

-Communicate with local people to find the common interest between children and adults.

-Making the value design as cards as a service provide to people. And choose the typical ideas for example to futher developed.

-Classify the ideas into different groups based on age and themes.

A workshop of co-design

Today, I run a workshop with some of my friends. The objective of this workshop is co-design new ideas more efficent. Due to my current design ideas are too basic, I need some fresh thoughts to make my design more creative. There are 6 participants from different industries, and the duration of the workshop is about 2 hours. I organize them to play two games for creating new ideas.

The first session is role play. I devided them into two groups and act as different persona- child, parent and designer. I asked them imagine what kind of their life and compile the fictional personas. And then answer the questions of when they play outside with their parents or taking their children to the park, what issues they may face and what aspiration they may have.This role act may help them expirence the real situation and understand what the stakeholder’s information. For example, I act as a single mother and need more communicate with other single women. My “son” need more care and correct psychology education. So when I take him to the park, I need some facility that can play together with him to understand his personalities and communicate with him. When he play with his peer, I need a place kind of like a single bar to communicate with other women.  And then, the designer design some product or service according to the stakeholders’ information. In this process, the “child” and “parent” can constantly appeal their requirements to inspire the deisgner.

The second game is co-design some new ideas. This is indivisual work. Every one can choose two stuffs even there are no relationship between them, and then analysis their features and user interaction. Then, synthesis them and create a new things/ games/ service. The atmosphere is very happy in the design process. Participants always imagine many fantastic ideas, even some ideas I never heard before. I enjoy this process very much and I feel very happy that I can play with others whilst getting many inspirations.