The industrial designer, Günter Beltzig, designed plastic furniture in his youth. They are now displayed as classics in the Museum of Modern Art in New York as well as in many other museums. 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.
He has written a book on playground design, which has been translated into several languages, authored many publications on the subject of playgrounds catering for people with disabilities and children’s aesthetics and also worked collaboratively on the playground standards. He has held teaching positions at various technical universities. He has created very interesting play areas throughout Europe, also in sensitive nature and conservation areas, with high design demands, many play offers and high experience and learning effects.
Playing means: “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.
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 playground equipment and make conscious decisions when selecting and implementing them. The playground is a highly complex, social functional space.