Places and spaces created for children have simple design features built in, like interactive elements at different heights. Rumour has it the intimacy of watching PlaySchool is in part due to camera operators filming at the height of a four-year-old. If all the world were designed from that perspective, we would get a glimpse of what works for children. Reading Design Justice and learning all about the inequities of design when you apply racial, gender, settler, colonial lens’ and it certainly got me thinking too about the lack of design justice for children, except in places that are designed exclusively with children in mind like playgrounds and children’s libraries. And then there is the policy context, designing a world where there is climate justice with future generations in mind, and the injustices of public policies past and some in the present that have generated so much grief and sadness. The horrors of how children from First Nations from Canada to Australia and everywhere in between have been discarded, thrown away or even worse, spring to mind. Children being removed from families, lost to their communities, disconnected from their heritage. Before there is just settlement of these matters, there is wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
Despair and darkness know no light when pain, shame and stain remain.
Back to the gift I have of intergenerational luxury, we sometimes work things out together and take it in turns to instruct the other in the ways of the world. He thoroughly enjoyed explaining to me how to order food in a drive through fast food outlet and demonstrated compassion at my failure to understand some basic manoeuvres in a game that involved zombies and plants. He eagerly took instruction on turning dry pappadums into something edible through the magic of microwaves and gave his own rationale for sausage rolls having to be spaced apart on a baking tray prior to going into the oven – they need their personal space. These are a few of the joys of being in the moment with a little person. They are moments, beads threaded on a necklace of delight.
The more clearly, we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. – Rachel Carson, The Silent Spring