The Adventure Playground: Present/Play with Gabriela Burkhalter

An image of children playing on a tree in front of a building of flats, with the text 'The Adventure Playgrounds: The Architectures of Contemporary Play' written in black font overlaid onto the image
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This event will examine how children can be part of the city through the lens of six film clips from 1948 and 1972 produced in the UK, US, France, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark. They show how children negotiate, appropriate and master their environment, and how, through struggles, perseverance and collaboration, they are able to build personal resilience and autonomy.

The film clips will be contextualised historically and used as an opportunity to trace the development of Gabriela's long term project, The Playground Project, which explores exemplary initiatives, pioneering acts and adventures in designing modern childhood. We will talk about how it started as a historical project to become a tool to question the role of children in the city and society.

The Adventure Playground: Architectures of Contemporary Play is a series of exploratory talks and propositions that investigates processes of play and imagination and their role in built environments and the designed spaces of playgrounds in Britain. It brings forward the architectural and political history of playgrounds as dedicated spaces for children across contemporary cities and centres on the idea of ‘creating worlds’.

About the event


Limited Capacity.

Booking is required.

We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event.

The duration of the event is one and a half hours. Seated.


Find information about getting here and our building access and facilities here.

This event will take place in The Space and is wheelchair accessible.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing

Safety during your visit

Due to COVID precautions, please do not attend this event if you/someone in your household is currently COVID-19 positive, has suspected symptoms, or is awaiting test results.

Please observe social distancing where possible.

Staff and visitors are welcome to wear a face mask in all areas.

You can find more details about how we're keeping everyone safe here.

A trained political scientist and urban planner based in Basel, Switzerland, Gabriela Burkhalter was guest curator of Architektur für Kinder: Zürichs Spielplätze (Architectures for Children: Zurich's Playgrounds) at gta Exhibitions, ETH Hönggerberg, Zurich (November 6–December 10, 2014). Before that, she curated The Playground Project for the 2013 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Since 2008, she has documented the history of playgrounds on, and her articles and reviews have appeared in magazines and catalogues. An advisor to public agencies for the renovation of (historic) playgrounds, she is also an activist engaged in the revitalization of community space.

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