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.


Slide at Teardrop Park, Battery Par...

  by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates [image via dumbonyc]

Green Park Sandpit, London

  The Marquand Park sandpit reminds me of this one, at Green Park in London.

Marquand Park Sandpit, Princeton Ne...

  An enviable sandpit, causing this playground to be known locally as the ‘sandbox park’

Alligator and Catfish, Joy Wulke, 1...

  Sculptor Joy Wulke made these for climbing, playing, and seating at the 1984 Louisiana World Fair. They are formed - Read the rest...

Carsten Holler, Test Site 2006

More slides as experiential sculpture, from last year’s installation at the Tate Modern. Holler maintains that slides can help combat - Read the rest...

Open Playgrounds in San Francisco

  San Francisco has begun to leave some schoolyards unlocked during weekends, with a goal of having at least one - Read the rest...

Carr Everbach's Favorite Playground...

  This exceptionally helpful little site is almost a playground journal, a pocketbook of notes kept by Carr Everbach, co-chair - Read the rest...

DIY Playground Fence Ideas

  Perhaps some of these are more doable, and affordable.   Fence made from street signs by Leger Wanaselja Architecture, - Read the rest...

the PlayPump, Africa

  via pruned, the PlayPump. Though not motivated by the same necessity, in the Western world this would be an - Read the rest...

Playground Workout Machines, Hong K...

  via swissmiss, workout machines in a Hong Kong park. Hopefully sited so parents can watch the kids while working - Read the rest...

"Leaps and Boundaries" in the New Y...

  Last week’s NYT article on children’s playgrounds features the West 110th Street Playground at the north end of Central - Read the rest...

the Free Play Network

  Reader Wendy, who gets to design playspaces in Australia, has sent me a lovely list of links, among them - Read the rest...

Fight! Fight! Starchitects on the P...

Re: announcements that David Rockwell and Frank Gehry will be designing playgrounds in New York City, at Burling Slip and - Read the rest...

Thoughts on playground design

  Thoughts from a 2000 article in the Independent reviewing “Un Jeu d’Enfants”, an exhibition of new children’s play equipment - Read the rest...