Talbiyeh Refugee Camp, Jordan, 2008

Photo courtesy of Febrik

Part of UNRWA’s Talbiyeh Camp Improvement programme, ‘Edge of Play’ is a pilot project that focuses on community participation. Aimed at negotiating the right of space for underrepresented groups such as children and women, Febrik worked directly with such groups through a participatory design process.

The project is built upon Febrik’s long-term research, started in 2003, in different Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon and Jordan. Through the use of child-led creative processes such as art, film and photography, Febrik collected findings about the social dynamics, use of public spaces, and children’s play practices in the camps. The workshop participants also developed different site-specific projects to highlight the needs of children and their families. The results included theatre pieces, play manuals, installations, and architectural spaces such as the so-called ‘social playgrounds’. These are intergenerational and multi-functional public spaces that encourage their shared use.

In the case of Talbiyeh Camp, the proposal comprised of a play space and meeting area for women that could be transformed into a wedding venue. The ‘playground’ was not confined to one area, but fragmented into play pockets in the heart of the camp. These were informed by observations of children’s informal play activities in different urban contexts within the camp.

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