Reader and landscape architect James Furse-Roberts sent me links to some wonderful footage; an interview with Heinz Berger, the designer of mid-century playscapes in the city of Vancouver c. 1968. Note the intentional use of the word ‘playscape’ rather than ‘playground’, and particularly look at how these playscapes illustrate the twin foci of play in the mid-century: 1) avant-garde forms like the biomorphic concrete playhouse and 2) natural materials in adventurous configurations such as the fort and the timber scrambles. Much like today’s playground milieu! It’s a pity we’re just now getting back to these ideas after a long detour through plastics and platforms.
From the City of Vancouver archives. Also don’t miss this vintage footage of play activities held at the parks in Vancouver in the mid-century, particularly the traffic school feature at 24:00. Thanks James!