There are some danes out there that are doing something great, and I believe the world should now. Fiery souls, Ole and Christian, started a company called Monstrum in 2003 and converted theatrical sets into theatrical potential: playgrounds. I predict one day their playgrounds will travel oceans (to Colombia or Australia) and live in far away places, like gifts. Every time I take my son to the playgrounds at the local library (Dokk1), I stare at the pieces of wood in awe, the way they have being detailed and crafted into scenografic elements, characters that lead to stories and have an active role on the game rules. It is all brilliant. I can’t help but wonder why didn’t I think of that.
And children can play the hygge way. Because a scenography leads to narrative and narrative leads to roles, and roles lead to friends. And that is hygge.
I listen to what the kids say while they play, their dreams unraveling as they roll down the slide, a bear delivering kids on his tongue, or climb a an eagle, fly, go places. The experience of play changes when the playground is not an absent collection of structural components but an atmospheric movie set ready for narratives, spaces shaping stores that are endlessly rich, a song always current as it become yours in your voice.
It seems as if the idea of playgrounds in many places, sadly, has being reduced to jungle gyms: labyrinths of net and rubber that can only lead you up and then down, to then disappear on your memory. The physical callenge ends when the labertinth ends, when you are up, or down. When kids share narratives while they play, they become partners in a mission, and life happens, happy accidents, memories.
So, you might want to keep on eye on them, on their projects bringing happy screams and laughter. That wood crafted in unique ways, is always new and related to the places where they are built, belonging. Thumbs up for a parenting win, and for the triple hit to humanity. Because when children win, everyone wins.
I am grateful for the memories in Dokk1, for Aarhus (city where I live), for the Danish love and craft that I continue to get on an everyday basis, and for the work of all the beautiful people behind this. No coins to electric devices, no tickets, no burgers. Happiness every time y say: see you at the bear.