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Beyond Chutes and Ladders! Trends in Play Space Design: Activity, Engagement, Involvement?

Posted: Tue, May 14, 2019

Presentation Title: Trends in Play Space Design: Activity, Engagement, Involvement?

Sub Title:

HSW Qualification: Yes

Duration: 90 minutes

LACES/IACET Qualification: LACES 1.5 PDH ‐ IACET .2 CEU

Market Statement:

"Boring playgrounds are just as likely to be abused as ignored.” “You can lead kids to a playground, but

you can't make them play.” “I like to play indoors, because that is where all the electrical outlets are.”

Likely you have heard this all before…

Parks today face the challenge of providing environments that will attract children and families to

engage, play and stay. To compete with indoor, more sedentary activities. In this session, we will

examine playground trends that create kid magnets, that facilitate multi‐generational interaction, or

signature playgrounds that tell a community story.

Sure, some will make a mad dash for the monkey bars and work up a sweat in five minutes. Others will

start a spontaneous game of tag, darting in and out of play structures to avoid the pursuer. But there

will always be kids who avoid playground equipment altogether because it either bores or intimidates


What role does good design play in society? How do you know it when you see it?

What goes into creating it? Is excellence ever easy?

Through these questions and examples from around the world, we will examine global trends and their

impacts on designing impactful playground environments today. Discussions will also focus on the

opportunities for stronger collaboration between playground designers and Landscape Architects.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Identify leading trends in play space design and the external influences driving these trends.

2. Evaluate how innovative concepts can be applied to play space design

3. Site ways to specify new concepts and material choices…

Detailed Outline:


I. Identify major societal issues and trends

a. Comparison of play environment design then and now

b. What’s changed and why

II. Relate specific trends to play environment design

a. Adventure

b. Material Mix

c. Landforms

d. Destination Parks and Playgrounds

e. Nature Inspired Design

f. Literacy in the Environment

g. Holistic Wellness Design

III. Best Practice Recommendations for success

a. writing specifications

i. RFP or Request for Qualifications

b. Collaboration with design team

c. Collaboration with contractors


Many parks today face the challenge of providing environments where all visitors can engage, with less

funding and fewer resources. One way is to create environments where all visitors can feel safe, secure

and fully engage in play, namely creating designs that fully embrace social equity and social

sustainability. Participants will be provided with current data on how the world population is aging and

encountering disabilities in all age groups. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to the

concepts of social sustainability as they apply in park and playground settings. Each component will be

defined in relation to universal design principles in recreational environments. Two case studies will be

presented illustrating how these park communities enhanced social equity and inclusion through

thoughtful design practices.

The presentation will show how this data supports the need for creating recreation spaces that support

these community members in a greater way. In particular, the use of universal design principles will be

embraced as a way to address this growing community need.

Needs Identification:

Ultimately, the most successful parks and playgrounds are those that provide users of all abilities a

sense of safety, security and inclusion. These are the environments where true inclusion happens and

community ownership is strong, resulting in a community resource that all will cherish, support and

protect. Participants will be provided with current data on how the world population is aging and

encountering disabilities in all age groups. The presentation will show how this data supports the need

for creating recreation spaces that support these community members in a greater way. In particular,

the use of universal design principles will be embraced as a way to address this growing community

need. Through illustrative examples and case study, participants will be introduced to the concepts of

social sustainability as they apply in park and playground settings.

Session Format: Presentation with group participation

Instruction Level: Intermediate


Reference Sources:


Universal Design Handbook, 2E by Wolfgang Preiser (Author) & Korydon H. Smith (Author,) 2010

Publication ‐ Articles

Vavik, T & Keitsch M M. Exploring relationships between universal design and social sustainable

development: some methodological aspects to the debate on the sciences of sustainability, Sustainable

Development, 2010, 18 (5): 295‐305.

Gossett A, Mirza M, Barnds AK, Feidt D, Beyond access: a case study on the intersection between

accessibility, sustainability, and universal design, Disability Rehabilitation Assistive Technology, 2009


World Population Prospects, The 1998 Revision, Volume II: Sex and Age. The Population Division,

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat


Institute for Human Centered Design


Speaker Information

Name: Michael Fingeroth

Title: East Coast Regional Manager

Company Name: Landscape Structures

Telephone: 732‐662‐0426

Email Address: mikefingeroth@playlsi.com

Please RSVP to csiknox@gmail.com by 3:00 pm on Monday, May 13th, 2019



April Chapter Lunch Meeting

Posted: Sun, Apr 07, 2019

Join us Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 11:30am at Calhoun's on the River.  Kristin Lee Grove, Architect for PBA, Knoxville, TN will update us on projects going on in Knoxville.

Free Codes Seminar at the Product Show March 12

Posted: Tue, Mar 12, 2019

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!!!! - The Building Officials, That is....

Significant Changes in the 2018 Building Code

March 12, 2019

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

at The Foundry On The Fair Site

747 World's Fair Park Dr. Knoxville, TN 37902

Seminar Registration

The International Building Code has gone through a complete code change cycle.  This course focuses on the significant changes in the 2018 International Building Code, and also helps remind the student of the code sections that remain unchanged.  Changes discussed will include the 2012 and 2015 Editions of the IBC.
This course meets the requirements for 1 LU (HSW) with AIA or 1 CH with the State of TN.
1. Familiarize the attendees with the 2018 International Building Code
2. Familiarize the attendees with the changes between the 2015 and 2018 codes.
3. Address any concerns from attendees still enforcing the 2012 IBC.
Stephen Snow - Codes Enforcement Program Director
Department of Commerce and Insurance

Joint Meeting with CSI Knoxville & Masonry Institute of TN

Posted: Tue, Feb 12, 2019

CSI Knoxville is hosting the Masonry Institue of TN 

          Calhoun's on the River 

          Tuesday, February 12, 2019

          Registration: 11:00am

          Lunch/Seminar: 11:30am – 1:00pm

  •  Over the years IMI has conducted thousands of masonry drawing and specification reviews for architects and engineers. This seminar is a collection of reoccurring observations of construction documents that will help you understand how to assemble comprehensive masonry information to create more functional durable, aesthetically pleasing and economical masonry details. Better masonry information in your construction documents will help mason contractors generate more inclusive bids, minimize or eliminate requests for information (RFIs) and changes during construction and help you establish realistic masonry expectations for your next project.

    • Review important components of masonry drawings and specifications and how they work together to convey your design to mason contractors.
    • Discover the 10 most common masonry detailing mistakes we see in construction documents.
    • Understand what key masonry information should be shown on the drawings verses in the specification.
    • Learn how to create a comprehensive set of masonry construction documents.


    Speaker: Pat Conway, AIA Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Registration - 11:00am Lunch/Seminar - 11:30am-1:00pm (EST) Calhouns' on the River 400 Neyland Drive, Knoxville, TN 37902 RSVP- Email to: Will Dunklin: wdunklin@gmail.com Info about the Speaker Pat Conway, AIA, is a registered architect in Wisconsin with expertise in masonry plan and specification review, designing and detailing durable masonry walls, air barriers, movement joints, rain screen walls, troubleshooting, adhered veneers and high performing wall systems. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Pat is the Wisconsin Director of Industry Development and Technical Services for the International Masonry Institute.

CSI Knoxville Chapter President’s Message - December

Posted: Tue, Dec 04, 2018


As we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday and slide into December, we want to take a moment to thank all those who work continuously behind the scenes at CSI to make this organization a success. Thank you! Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Well the holidays have now arrived and the time when we should slow down, take a break, and wind down the year unfortunately turns into a mad rush to meet that project deadline or end of the year sales target. A rush to get to that next event through all the traffic, and trying to figure out why in the world that string of lights you just bought last year won’t light up…….unfortunately after you just finished putting everything on the entire tree. Well, no matter what frustrations you may run into this holiday season, take the time to hit the pause button, look through the madness and find the positives that surround you. They’re there. You just have to look for them. Take time to enjoy this season of giving and celebrate with those around you.

Speaking of celebrating and finding a moment to relax, mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 11th for CSI’s annual Christmas Party from 6pm to 8pm. This year in addition to fun, food, music and socializing, we have decided to incorporate the 2018 CSI Awards ceremony into this special event. Make plans to attend this celebratory event and enjoy the time together. Note that this will take the place of our December Chapter Meeting. Be on the lookout for additional information and details in the days to come.

Speaking of trying to meet that end of the year target, the CSI Knoxville membership numbers continue to rise towards our annual goal. Per last month’s Regional membership report, the Knoxville Chapter has seen the most membership growth amongst all the other Chapters in our region. We’re not to our target yet, so everyone keep up the good work and continue inviting guests to our meetings so that we can keep the momentum going.

Looking ahead to 2019, we have some exciting events just around the corner. The January Chapter Meeting will be a special one. On Tuesday, January 8th we will be visiting the historic Blount Mansion where we will enjoy a catered lunch by Calhoun’s at the Welcome Center followed by a tour of Blount Mansion and the Craighead-Jackson House. Make plans to join us as we take a fieldtrip through history.

Vendor packets have been sent out for the 2019 ETN Building Products Show. The date is set for Tuesday, March 12th from 4pm to 8pm and the location is at the Foundry at World’s Fair Park. We have the entire facility reserved for this exciting and informative event and looking to pack the house full with vendors, products, organizations, companies, etc., and yes, food and drink. Space is limited so make plans now to get those packets turned in. We look forward to seeing everyone on March 12th.As you wind down and wrap up 2018, remember to slow down and enjoy the holidays. From all of us at CSI, we wish each and every one of you a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

Mr. R. Aaron Miller, CSI, CDT, AIA
Design Innovation Architects
CSI Knoxville Chapter President





  • 50 years ago Gordon Heins
  • 31 years ago Douglass Lowrie
  • 7 years ago Donna Covert

2024 Products Show

Registration is open for exhibitors for the 2024 ETN CSI PRODUCTS SHOW on
MARCH 19, 2024


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