The Voice of Children


The Voice of Children is an on-going research project exploring children’s play in cities around the world. This collection of films are documentation of children playing freely, without undue adult intervention, external direction or goals, in environments which have been designed to enable play.

The films aim to show how important the environment is in enabling play, and the creative, complex and evolving relationships children develop with the physical world given sufficient space and time.

Children express themselves through play. Deep, free play is a biological need and legal right, and it is the evolved mechanism for learning. Most of the built environment actively inhibits children's play.

The Voice of Children features Alpujarra Kids Space (Orgiva, Spain), Baltic Street Adventure Playground (Glasgow, UK), Glamis Adventure Playground and PATH (London, UK), Felix Road Adventure Playground (Bristol, UK), Meridian Adventure Playground (Birmingham, UK), Yume Park, Fuji Kindergarten, Haruno Ogawa and Hanegi Park, (Tokyo, Japan), SM Nursery and Moanakids Nursery (Yokohama, Japan), The Land Adventure Playground (Wrexham, UK), La Jugarreta (Tepoztlan, Mexico).

Filming and research was funded by The Rumi Foundation, and produced with the support of The British Council and La Biennale di Venezia de Architectura 2017

Audio Edit: Betsy Dadd, mixed by Sean Glynn
Video Edit: Lydia C-S
Colour Grading: Chris Lee
Interviews: Assemble, Mike Barclay, Betsy Dadd, Luke Freedman and Antonia Halse
Filming: Assemble, Lydia C-S, Betsy Dadd, Luke Freedman and Phin Harper
Technical Support: Salvador Beneficio, ORB and Camilo Tirado
Editorial Support: Phin Harper, Antonia Halse, Rachel Mathers and Ben Tawil

With thanks to International Play Association, LABCDMX, Y-GSA, The School of Walls and Space, Takaharu and Yui Tezuka Architects, Youji No Shiro and Tokyo Play

Penny Wilson
The British Council
Phin Harper
Chris Lee
Betsy Dadd
Lydia C-S