UBC and SFU researchers have recently submitted a proposal for an innovative facility that will explore how children engage in unstructured and risky play and learning. The living lab, named the Centre for Interactive Research on Children’s Learning Environments (CIRCLE), would be the first of its kind in the world. BCIRPU’s Dr. Mariana Brussoni and UBC’s Dr. Susan Herrington are co-leads, with Drs. Ian Pike and Shelina Babul as project collaborators.

CIRCLE Living Lab will use audio, visual, and sensory data collection tools as well as tracking and biofeedback monitoring devices to study children’s mental, physical, and emotional and social health. The research proposal includes faculty from Applied Science, Arts, Education, Medicine, and Psychology and will leverage connections with international experts. The data will help answer questions that have not yet been possible to address, such as how experiences in risky play influence the development of children’s risk management skills.

UBC has committed to the capital development of the project, which would be located on its Vancouver campus. The next step is review by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant reviewers, expected in 2021.

Image: SHAPE Architecture and D’Arcy Hutton