Designer of children's playgrounds
In his youth, the industrial designer Günter Beltzig designed plastic furniture, which are now considered classics and can also be found in the New York Museum of Modern Art. He worked for almost five years designing electrical equipment for Siemens AG in Munich until he decided to design playground equipment, playgrounds and outdoor areas for children.
Play is made up of activities that individuals undertake to adapt to their environment.Günter Beltzig
His book on playground design has been translated into several languages. He has also written numerous publications on the subject of barrier-free play and children’s aesthetics, was involved in the development of play equipment standards, and holds lectureships at various technical universities. The very interesting play areas he has designed throughout Europe, which are also located in sensitive nature and conservation areas, are characterised by high creative standards, very many opportunities to play as well as great experience and learning effects.
For Günter Beltzig, play has a key role in life. He understands this to be “activities that individuals undertake to adapt to their environment”, in other words, play is the opportunity to try out all possibilities, to test the limits, gather experience, learn – and is not just restricted to children. Artists, researchers and many creative people play. According to Beltzig there is no definable “play value” but rather lots of independent play functions. Climbing, balancing, coordination, training social behaviour, self-assertiveness in the group, but also the experience of wind, rain and sun are some of the many possible play functions. While they can overlap and act as a complement to each other, they can also counteract the other, prevent play or lead to overly aggressive behaviour. That’s why it is important to be aware of the individual play functions of play equipment in playgrounds and make conscious decisions when selecting and implementing them. Accordingly, the playground can be considered a highly complex, social functional space.