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Austrian/Croatian design collective Numen, whose cocoon-like constructions of sticky tape have been featured on the blog before, expanded their exploration of flexible space into nets for a contemporary art space in Belgium earlier this year.  I love the way these provide for both bouncy activity and calm contemplation. Nets aren’t new on the playground.  But – Read the rest…



Architecture’s top prize for 2016 has been awarded to Alejandro Aravena of Chile, executive director of Santiago-based ELEMENTAL, a “Do Tank,” (as opposed to a think tank…love that concept).  In the publicity heralding the prize, it has been heartening to see a playground prominently featured! I know of no other Pritzker prize winner whose body of – Read the rest…



Today’s post is a mashup of ThrowbackThursday and PlaySculptureSaturday, but that’s too long for a hashtag!  Thanks to reader Mark for sending me the link to this intriguing piece of recent play history:  the first time parkour was featured on television in 1997.  Beginning at :053, the clip shows the runners scaling Pierre Szekely’s monumental Dame du – Read the rest…



As part of a grand project revitalizing the interior of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, A24 Landschaft designed a “Netzvilla”; a house of nets nearly 8 meters high, with an escape slide, of course.  Reminiscent of the temporary play installations of Numen, the house of nets also reminds me of the Wallholla ‘wall of play’ by the Netherlands’ Carve, – Read the rest…



From the Germanpostwarmodern tumblr…Eduard Ludwig was a Bauhaus architect best known for his monument to the Berlin Airlift.  I couldn’t find any additional information on this 1956 playground (which appears to be his only play design)  or its exact site in Berlin, which seems newly built based on the scale of the plantings.  Share if – Read the rest…



If you’ve enjoyed perusing Architecture of Play you should also head over to Nils’ website, dismalgarden, where he has made years of photographic archives of playscapes freely available to all.  It’s a treasure trove of ideas and sites; many of adventure playgrounds around the world, “pockets of disorder” in the urban space.  I picked a few favorites – Read the rest…



“First of all, one must choose a permanent residence for the bees, …” Virgil: Georgics IV” Playcapes’ friend AnneMarie van Splunter, whose Play Modules are a perennial favorite on the blog, begins a new project in January, a “Buzzbench” for Amstel Park in Amsterdam:  “a sculptural environment of (native) cane and bamboo and wild bees – Read the rest…



Now that I have vanquished some Dragons of Science let’s get back to Aldo and the blog birthday!  I am often asked in interviews why I call the blog ‘Playscapes’.  It’s an invented modern word;  a concatenation of playground and landscape that suddenly appeared in the late 1950s to describe places that were playgrounds but – Read the rest…



Artist Constantino Nivola sand-cast enormous sculptures for the likes of Olivetti and Yale.  And, he made a playground… “The sculptural face of a modern city playground rarely gets more monumental than a jungle gym. Its rectilinear ziggurat of steel lattice is a joy toy for kids, and a spatial bore. But then, who considers a – Read the rest…



Last weekend I visited Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, NYC. The Park was an abandoned riverside landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members, under the leadership of artist Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an open studio and outdoor exhibition space. The current exhibit which is open until – Read the rest…



A group of turtles, I have just learned (thank you google) is called a ‘bale’!  The inherently playful form and friendly mien of the turtle means it vies with the elephant (my personal fave) as the most popular playground animal, with the giraffe coming in a distant third and the playground octupi of Japan serving – Read the rest…



As some of you know from my other, infrequent, blog about garden history, I am also a historian of landscape (having taken a sabbatical from nanotechnology to get a master’s degree in the subject from the UK.  I highly recommend interdisciplinary studies, btw!).   So I have a preservationist bent, and that is what this post – Read the rest…



If you don’t know the play sculpture of Hungarian Pierre Szekely (one of Simon and Tom Bloor’s inspirations below), the definitive source is the comprehensive online catalogue assembled and maintained by Pierre Karinthy.   It can difficult to navigate as it includes all of Szekely’s work (and he was prolific), but I have extracted the – Read the rest…



As Playscapes approaches 500 posts, I know that the amount of information here is getting unwieldy, especially for new visitors to the blog.  So I’m working with a great creative agency in my hometown to develop a better format, but I also plan to start writing some posts that consolidate past content around a theme, – Read the rest…



Charlottesville Virginia based  Siteworks won a competition for a First Amendment memorial with their low-tech public forum:  a 54 feet long by 7.5 feet high double-sided wall of local slate on which members of the public may express their views, in chalk, on any subject they choose. “Located directly in front of Charlottesville’s City Hall – Read the rest…