« A shed always reflects the soul of those who created it. » Huerre, 2006.
As part of Year of Vilaine, a Shed Zone was tested out in a wood in the Vallée de la Vilaine, the Pérelle in Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande.
The objective of this prototype was to test a new way of conceiving leisure for young people and children which isn’t governed by health and safety norms. All woods contain shacks that have been built without authorisation, but there are few legal adventure playgrounds, even though they used to be very popular in France and still are in some countries, particularly in Scandinavia. Over the last forty years these risk-taking educational spaces have been gradually disappearing, reflecting a society that as it become increasingly risk-averse when it comes to its children becomes increasingly standardised.
How can we invent new rules ? How can we create and advertise new activities ? How do we give children the opportunity to experiment in their space? These questions guided us in this project.
The result was a space for play and free experimentation, evolving and respectful of the environment, permanently being rebuilt, allowing local youth workers to come with groups of children and young people to build sheds and to discover risk. The challenge: to disseminate widely a prototype that blends evolving organisation, alternative education and respect for the environment.