Design

This is an incredibly interesting time for playground design. The surge of interest in public spaces and design for children, urban interventions and a maker culture are intersecting with the availability of new materials and advanced technology to create an explosion of interesting play ideas and themes. When I started the blog in 2008, I could hardly find enough to post regularly. Now, I can't keep up! Much like in the 1970s, there's an interesting duality in playground design today: on one side a focus on high design content and technologically advanced materials, and on the other a focus on nature, the environment and returning children to simpler forms of play. Both are advancing the quality of play for children. Future landscape historians will look back on this era of the twenty-oughts and teens as a seminal time for play design.


Sensory Playscape, Gudgudee, Mumbai, India, 2015

While I love to feature high-design projects like the Nova, there is always a special place in my heart for the small and inexpensive, and low-cost projects can (and should!) be just as visually appealing as any grand design. The playscape designed by Indian design firm Gudgudee  for the Research Society – Jai Vakeel School for children in need of Special Care, Mumbai, India fits the bill:  it has been dubbed “Chiri Chiriyo”,  which means laughter of a child in Malayalam language. In quite a small space, Gudgudee has installed a sensory landscape with great local texture: bamboo chimes from local Maharashtrian craftsmen (who usually carve out flutes) and copper bells in different sizes and resonances from Kutch region of Gujarat.  Setting both these items into colorful, geometric metal frames adds significantly to the visual character of the space.    Convex mirrors–like those used for store security–are readily available, inexpensive, – Read the rest…


How We Play - Call for Exhibition E...

The deadline is actually TODAY, July 1, not July 6 as previously posted. Apologies for the error. There’s still - Read the rest...

From our correspondents...

While I finish writing a grant application on electroactive polymers (!) do take some time to peruse the great recent - Read the rest...

Playscapes from our Correspondents

I want to highlight some of the great playscapes being posted by our correspondents! More great playgrounds in a week - Read the rest...

Merging Path and Playground

One of the common threads I pulled in both the London and New York events was this idea of merging - Read the rest...

Slide, Color Berlin 2, Matthias Hei...

Wow, I’m overwhelmed by your responses to the call for Playscapes correspondents! Keep them coming…this is going to be awesome. - Read the rest...

3-D Basketball Court, Inges Idee, M...

From the Sehwan Oh playground to puckelball, morphing familiar forms is definitely a playground trend. The puckelball pitch was installed - Read the rest...

Real Stuff on the Playground: Geopa...

‘Real Stuff’ like gears, planes, and fire trucks were once common on the playground, but have regrettably fallen into disuse. - Read the rest...

Friday Forum: Play Design Training

Recently I was looking at the work of a firm whose playful, but not specifically playground, installation I had featured - Read the rest...

Modular Climbing Boxes, Kodomo No K...

Via the blog Lost Tokyo, great modular climbing boxes at Kodomo No Kuni park in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. No - Read the rest...

Wikado Playground, 2012 Architectur...

I stumbled on the Baunetz Woche article (now corrected, see below) in doing some background on this playground, which they - Read the rest...

Denpark, Eric Scraggs, Anjo-shi, Ai...

Another playspace handcrafter is Eric Scraggs, who says that outside of his own municipality of Whistler, British Columbia the most - Read the rest...

"Flooded Chambers Maid", an acciden...

“…the uptown end of the central lawn was already crowded with children playing on a multicolored triangular platform that looked - Read the rest...

Playground Alphabet

  Vintage ABC climbers in East Rochester, Ohio, via the flickr photostream of scottamus. The whole alphabet, anybody?

Home Playground Ideas, Inside and O...

Inspirational ideas for home playscapes… I’ve had both of these photos in my file for some time, so have lost - Read the rest...

Inside/Outside playground, Paulsgro...

Built on grass and sand, the playground is dominated by a 10.5 metre high Kaiser and Kuhne tower. There’s also - Read the rest...

Big Net, Yuyu-no-mori Nursery Schoo...

  “This big net play feature is provided in the centre of the building and connects the second and third - Read the rest...

Fallen Acorns, Andrew Frost, 2005

  Acorns for climbing and sitting, made from a fallen tree. At the Derby Arboretum and Rose Hill recreation grounds, - Read the rest...

Cedar Hills Arch

  Timber arch playstructure at Cedar Hills Co-Op in Portland, Oregon, unattributed. Let me know if you have further info.

The Playground Octupi of Japan

Apparently, Japan is populated by giant cephalapods generously lending their tentacles as playground slides. Interesting demonstration of how culture influences - Read the rest...

Children's Playground/Children's Qu...

Pre-dating the Hull House playground in Chicago was the Children’s Playground at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, established in - Read the rest...

Slide at Teardrop Park, Battery Par...

  by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates [image via dumbonyc]