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Collective PLAY, September 2019. Photo: Aly Wight.

Collective PLAY, September 2019. Photo: Aly Wight.

Collective Observations:
Tim Gill

Events Online

1 Oct 2020  

6-8pm 

Book Tickets

Considering Collective's home on Calton Hill as a civic site, free for the people of Edinburgh to enjoy, we have invited scholar, advocate, and consultant on childhood, Tim Gill, to give a live presentation.

Tim Gill has long been an advocate both for reconnecting children with the natural world, and for designing urban spaces which prioritise children’s exploration and independence.

Tim will introduce why children’s play and free time matters, the importance of risk in childhood development, and will discuss approaches to supporting and encouraging a child’s natural instinct to play.

The Covid-19 pandemic and measures for controlling the virus have impacted the lives of different generations in different ways. Children have suffered the 'collateral damage' of lockdowns and school and playground closures through limited opportunities for play, decreased mobility, and a widening attainment gap.

Tim will consider the significant impact of these measures on children’s lives, and how we can advocate for a balanced strategic response which leaves space for play.

"If children are to enjoy and make the most of their lives, we need to revisit and revise our ideas of what a good childhood looks and feels like. We need to reconnect children with the people and places around them, and with the natural world on their doorstep. We need to design neighbourhoods so that it is easy for children to walk, cycle, get closer to nature and play near their homes. We need to improve play and recreational spaces and services, and ensure that schools, nurseries and childcare settings give children time and space for play and exploration.

We need to support parents, so they feel able to give their children some of the freedoms that previous generations enjoyed when they were young. We need to accept that it is natural and healthy for children to take risks, make mistakes, have everyday adventures and test themselves and their boundaries."

Tim Gill

Join us online, live from the City Observatory at Collective, as Tim presents his findings on Zoom and answers questions in the chat function.


Free event, donations requested. Please book in advance via Eventbrite.

Tim Gill is an independent scholar, advocate and consultant on childhood. His work cuts across public policy, education, child care, planning, transport, urban design and playwork. It engages with academics, practitioners, policy makers, the media and the wider public. Tim is a Built Environment Expert for the Design Council, the UK Government’s adviser on design, and a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading (from March 2020).

Collective Observations
Historically observations made from the City Observatory on Calton Hill, have re-shaped how we view and relate to the world around us. It is where astronomers observed and calculated accurate time, aiding ships docked in Leith to navigate and connecting Edinburgh to the world. It is also where the artist Robert Barker created the first panorama, expanding the pictorial field and horizon. As custodians of this site, Collective are inspired by the history of ingenuity but we understand that narrative of progress is incomplete and complicated.

This autumn we present Collective Observations - a series of online events which explore these complications, re-question the dominant narratives of the past, and consider these in our current social and political landscape.

All events will be captioned or have live transcription.

Online Event Code of Conduct
Collective is dedicated to providing a harassment-free online environment for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, or religion.

We ask all participants to be respectful, to listen to the moderator and other participants, and not to dominate the conversation. Read our full Code of Conduct here


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