Contemporary Design


Recycled Cardboard Elephant, Nituniyo, Valencia Spain, 2015

I’ve featured some cardboard tube constructions on the blog before, but none as delightful as this cardboard elephant dubbed “Somnis de Pes” (Dreams of Weight) and formed from 6000 recycled cardboard tubes by Spanish design studio Nituniyo for the annual Falles festival in Valencia. Most of the festival constructions–destined to be burned at festival end—are cordoned off from adults and children alike, but this one was for play, and for inserting wishes into the elephant’s round ‘pixels’. I wish I saw more temporary play installations! Ephemeral opportunities make people see space in a new way, and draw them in for a ‘time-limited’ happening when they might not otherwise visit. They are an important part of the ‘spectrum of play’: enlivening public space with playful opportunities from small to large, path to destination, temporary to permanent. cómo se hizo somnis de pes from nituniyo on Vimeo.  


Path as Play: Barnetraak, TYIN Teg...

I wanted to follow up on an element of Susan Solomon’s last post, the Barnetraak project of TYIN Tegnestue in - Read the rest...

Playgrounds and the Pritzker Prize

Architecture’s top prize for 2016 has been awarded to Alejandro Aravena of Chile, executive director of Santiago-based ELEMENTAL, a “Do Tank,” - Read the rest...

Ibtasem Playground for Syrian Refug...

“Within humanitarian responses, programmatically, children often become invisible” (Marc Sommers). Sadly, this is true of many of society’s responses, not - Read the rest...

Play in Cuba: Past, Present, and F...

I’ve posted a few photos of Cuban playgrounds before, and like other aspects of the island they are at once - Read the rest...

Nova Kaleidoscope Playhouse, SOFTla...

Things I’d like to see on the playground…in my ongoing quest to inspire more use of reflective and chromatic surfaces–optically - Read the rest...

PLAY[ground] for Vivid Sydney, 2015

The international design firm HASSELL recently teamed up with non-profit Archikidz and Sydney Living Museums to create PLAY[ground], a three day destination - Read the rest...

Lessons from Superkilen, Copenhagen...

Paige’s Note: As I try to again ease back into posting after an intensive focus on my other life in - Read the rest...

Inflatable Playascape, PneuHaus, Bu...

I’ve never been a fan of the “bouncy castle” genre of temporary play installations, so it’s exciting to see the - Read the rest...

Gatos Recycled Playground, Basurama...

Basurama Brasil’s latest playful resurrection of recyclables is open for play at the Casa Daros Museum Rio, “for children under - Read the rest...

Lizard Country, Rathenow Germany, Z...

One of those delightful Gartenschau playgrounds is the “Lizard Country” constructed by ZimmerObst in Rathenow, Germany for one of the - Read the rest...

DOKK1, Literate Playground, Monstru...

The working title of the book I’m writing for Norton about the cultural history of the garden (if I can - Read the rest...

Floriade: Architectural Playscape, ...

Also from RMP Stephan Lenzen Landscape Architects is this thoughtful concatenation of play with garden and architecture in a pavilion - Read the rest...

Modern Castle Playground, Zulpich G...

Aaaand I’m back from the land of voting agreements and dilution formulas to the happier place of playgrounds…thanks for waiting! - Read the rest...

Skinny Playscape, Kalvebod Brygge C...

Like a Wallholla without the wall, this linear playscape by JDS Architects traces a thin line down the “Wave’ of - Read the rest...

Netzvilla, A24 Landschaft, Schwäbi...

As part of a grand project revitalizing the interior of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, A24 Landschaft designed a “Netzvilla”; a house of nets - Read the rest...

Is this the most beautiful basketba...

As if in answer to my plea of “why can’t playgrounds be more beautiful?” up springs a kaleidoscopic basketball court - Read the rest...

School Play, Ronan McCrea, Castlekn...

“They were just there one Monday morning.” Defying the usual norms of consultation, artist Ronan McCrea “purposefully did not mediate - Read the rest...

Flexible Playscape, Harayana India,...

In thinking about creating a more flexible playground space, I’m inspired by this installation in Harayana, India by Romi Khosla design - Read the rest...

Play and Art in Boston, 2015 #playd...

For the last year, installations of playful art at the Lawn on D have been killing it. The digitally lyrical Swing - Read the rest...

Swarovski's Crystal World Playscape...

An interesting aspect of new playground patronage systems are the playspaces designed by large corporations as part of the visitor - Read the rest...

Two Ways Philadelphia is Encouragin...

Paige’s Note: In this month’s ‘After the Deadline’ column play historian and author Susan Solomon continues her investigation of ‘playground - Read the rest...