Playable Sculpture


Parkour’s First Appearance on Television in 1997

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 Lac sculpture between Evry and Courcouronnes, considered by many to be the birthplace of the new play sport.   Szekely completed the sculpture in 1975, incorporating many of the ideas he had worked out in smaller play sculpture installations (see this previous Playscapes post on his work).  Though the invention of Parkour was still years away, the forms of his sculpture seem to have perfectly anticipate the free form running-climbing-jumping-swinging that would be adopted on the site, and spread eventually throughout the world, including to other sculpted landscapes like those of Lawrence Halprin in the United – Read the rest…


#PlaySculptureSaturday, Bård Brei...

Some years ago I posted the most beautiful climbing wall in the world; a carved wooden orb at a preschool - Read the rest...

#PlaySculptureSaturday: What's Prog...

“Natural” Playground Sculpture that juxtaposes the profile of a mountain range with the Manhattan skyline. And then lets you climb - Read the rest...

Spaghetti Playgrounds!

Okay, so the architects who designed this beauty in Hamakita, Japan–the firm Suppose Design Co–call it “Forest Loops”, not spaghetti. - Read the rest...

#TBT Mercer Island's Playground Dr...

For #TBT, the story of the dragon of Mercer Island park dragon, a rare happy ending for a mid-century playground - Read the rest...

#PlaySculptureSaturday Motu Viget S...

“All of us are children at heart—or were children and have forgotten it. The child in us can respond to - Read the rest...

Octagon Shelter/Playhouse, Laura Ma...

Thanks to artist Laura Marotta for submitting her octagon shelter/playhouse, “a simple wooden and steel structure that makes use of - Read the rest...

#PlaySculptureSaturday: Stone Cars...

It’s quite common to see cars and trucks or even tractors carved out of wood on the playground, but it - Read the rest...

#PlaySculptureSaturday: Midcentury ...

Unattributed, mysterious sculpture at the University of the Phillipines in Diliman. Beautiful photography by Dan Matutina, via flickr in the first - Read the rest...

Quetzalcoatl, Collette Crutcher, Sa...

Another Aztec-inspired playscape is Collette Crutcher’s Quetzalcoatl: one of the most beautiful examples of playground mosaic that I know. The feathered - Read the rest...

#PlaySculptureSaturday: Tarax, Pete...

You can play on Peter Corlett’s 1969 ferroconcrete bubbles at the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park near Melbourne Australia. [img - Read the rest...

The changeover from feedburner to Mailchimp should be complete today…note that there is a new sign-up in the sidebar that - Read the rest...

Adventure and Artistry with Luckey ...

Those two words–adventure and artistry–capture the legacy of Tom and Spencer Luckey, too. The utterly unique, and very recognizable, Luckey - Read the rest...

Toy Car Playground Mountain, Montso...

If you haven’t been keeping up with our Playscapes correspondents lately, take some time out to do so! Eloise, Playscapes - Read the rest...

Bernhard Luginbühl, Brutalist Play...

Given the current penchant for hashtagged days of the week, I hereby declare this #PlaySculptureSaturday. If Swiss sculptor Bernhard Luginbühl - Read the rest...

Plaza Brasil Playground, Santiago C...

In 1993, artist Frederica Matta designed a series of 22 play elements for Santiago, Chile’s Plaza Brasil, all based on the - Read the rest...

Model for a Slide Mantra, Isamu Nog...

I never fail to be inspired by a visit to the Noguchi Museum, and by discussions with its committed, creative - Read the rest...

Space Age Playgrounds by Fred Schum...

Fred Schumm of Colorado Springs is one of those artists I love to rediscover…largely unknown characters, generally sculptors, who constructed - Read the rest...

Pumpkin Playhouse, Yayoi Kusama, Na...

Also in London, Yayoi Kusama was exhibited at the Victoria Miro. While I would characterize Kusama’s work (including her viral - Read the rest...

Cypress Hills Playground, Charles F...

The very last playspace I talked about at Sheffield was the Cypress Hills Playground, by architect Charles Forberg. It’s notable - Read the rest...

Play Sculpture and the Spectrum of ...

It was a privilege to be at Site Gallery in Sheffield in conversation with my friends Simon and Tom Bloor - Read the rest...

Untitled (playground) by Picasso, C...

The untitled Picasso sculpture on Richard Daley plaza in Chicago,above, is one of the examples of public sculpture I’ll be - Read the rest...