UBC Playground Habitat

The UBC Playground-Habitat project, which will be referred to as the Playground, seeks to tackle the aesthetic and ecological aspects embedded within the old center of campus. In previous iterations, I had displayed a more massive structure that allowed for passage along the preexisting pathways, and were enclosed by climbing walls, ladders, and garden boxes. However, after receiving feedback from the TA, I thought that this very intensive structure would radically change the feeling of walking through the site, and seemed too intensive to be practical. I then remembered the old permaculture adage of nature knows best. In this way, I thought I could design a space that allowed for collaborative design with nature’s eco-engineers: fungi. The fungi would provide the habitat, and the humans(myself and my hypothetical team) would provide the playground. This saves us the work of tending a garden and allows for a more organic feel to the playground. The primary activities include rock-walls, boulders and monkey bars, which lead to platforms that provide viewpoints of campus. At the same time, the area in between each structure will begin the process of eco-restoration. Mushroom cultures will be placed strategically so that any soil toxins present will be broken down and bio-accumulated. These fungi will also help with the establishment of early successional species such as wildflowers and trees. The vegetation can then be used to prop up stringing lights, creating a new ambiance for the space at night. Later crops of fungi will be edible, and can provide often rare and sought after tasty treats to UBC Food services. Aside from the practical aspects, The Playground provides the people with a symbol of local values, namely the respect for nature and the joy of having fun in nature. Picture yourself climbing from rock to rock, enjoying the feeling of being above the ground, overlooking a field of beautiful native wildflowers and colorful fungi.

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