There is so much pressure on kids to “Grow Up” once they reach a certain age. To stop playing, focus on a career, and prepare for the future. However, some would argue that children are much more creative, inspired and determined than compared to adults. I believe it and think there is so much we can learn from kids and how they play.
Being able to go out and observe Carnivale was an amazing experience. It was so much fun and not only because I was participating in an amazingly new cultural experience but because I witnessed people at their truest state. Many were dressed up in whacky costumes, singing, dancing and throwing confetti without a care. Everyone got to be a kid again. The stress of abundant responsibilities one takes on as an adult sucks that sense of play out of us and makes adults think they must act, talk, and dress in a certain way. A way we may not even enjoy. This is so important to remember while placemaking, that as adults we simply don’t have the imagination of a child and have to pay attention to the critiques of children. They may say something ridiculous like furniture made out of ice cream but they also may say something eye-opening.
I have a younger sister who is nine years old and may be the smartest person I know. While I am still young I have forgotten exactly what it’s like to be a child and many times I have caught myself saying “You’ll understand when you’re older”. She will quickly respond, with some sass, that she is old enough and it makes me realize how much we overcomplicate things as adults. I have learned that I can ask her for important advice and she will be brutally honest with me. Her opinion can sometimes be exactly what I needed to hear regardless of whether I like it or not. For the Salotto con Visto, I believe kids thought of a play area they would like with a rock wall and a soft padded area. That may not be completely possible but its important to watch how children use the space as a whole to gain a better understanding of how it can be used. Children think in a completely different way, in a way that is perfect for creating a place where people of all ages can gather to enjoy each other’s company and the area in which they live.