We have fun in different ways. We could go out drinking or shopping with our friends, or watch movies at home. But the Nordics have a lot to teach us about what it means to have fun in a dirty way.

In the 1850s, Germany came up with the idea of a playground with specifically designed equipment, and the first playgrounds were built in Manchester, United Kingdom, and later Boston, Massachusetts. But Scandavania’s philosophy of playing has more freedom. It all started when Danish architect Carl Theodor Sørensen presented skrammellegepladser or “junk playgrounds”. After seeing children turn construction sites into play spaces in the 1930s, he made it his goal to provide equal opportunities for urban and rural children to play. Over the next four decades, Sørensen’s influence spread to Glasgow via Assemble Studio. The mud-themed Baltic Street Adventure Playground, designed by the Turner Prize-winning duo, debuted in 2013.

Playing is all about freedom. So the next time we go out to have fun, let’s get our clothes covered in mud, dirt, sweat, and joy!