Designer Profile: Lynn Wolff of Copley Wolff Design Group

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Shortly before they co-founded Copley Wolff Design Group, Lynn Wolff asked John Copley to describe his childhood. They were both teaching at Boston Architecture College at the time, and had a standing Tuesday meeting to discuss their classes and projects. Ms. Wolff’s question wasn’t that unusual. The surprise came, mid-sentence, as Copley was talking about… Read more »

Designer Profile: Joe Frost, The Contemporary Father of Play Advocacy

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As a child on a small farm in southwestern Arkansas, Joe Frost played with his friends in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. He played war and chase, built dams in the stream behind his grade school, and piled on his classmates in a game called “Dog Pile.” He devoured library books, government  pamphlets, comics,… Read more »

Designer Profile: Michelle Mathis, RLA, Learning Landscapes Design

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Eight years ago, on a five-day cycling tour of Berlin, Michelle Mathis stumbled upon her first bonafide adventure playground. What she saw caught her off guard: along several hundred linear feet of boardwalk, children unaccompanied by parents were using hammers, hand saws, and pieces of scrap wood to build forts, some as high as twenty… Read more »

Designer Profile: Joseph Lee, Father of the Playground Movement

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“Do not be forever meddling, interfering, asking questions, showing them a better way. Give the constructive power of your children scope and elbow room – the temple that it builds is invisible to any eyes but theirs. If you blur and jostle their vision, it is lost.” —Joseph Lee, social activist, philanthropist, president of the… Read more »

Designer Spotlight: Horst Henke – The Man Who Brought Wood To North American Playgrounds

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know the name Rick Henke. Raised in Kiel Germany, Henke immigrated to the US in the 1970s and founded the Goric Marketing Group USA in 1994. With his background in engineering and his involvement in developing playground safety standards in Canada, Rick was an early creator… Read more »

Designer Spotlight – H Nyunny Kim of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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“Who needs to escape the city when you can walk down the street or take the F train to Jay Street or the No. 22 to Clark Street or the B63 bus that goes right to Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue — and see nature in the city.” That’s Anne Raver, art and design columnist for… Read more »

Designer Spotlight – Ilisa Goldman and the Power of Our Natural World

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Reclaiming Community Spaces Creates Healthier Environments for us All     This past November, Rooted in Place, the design firm founded by Ilisa Goldman,orchestrated a 4 day community build event to transform a parking lot just outside ARTS (a local arts based youth center) into an, ‘arts-dedicated community space for art-making, performing and exhibiting.’ Local residents were invited… Read more »

Designer Spotlight – Mitch Ryerson’s Woodworking and the Art of Play

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The Original Jungle Gym was a Tree, and Mitch Ryerson Knows How to Use Them     Creating a Playground Tree | The Esplanade Association via YouTube.com   When explored by the hands of a skilled artist, playfulness itself becomes an expressive language. At its best, the work of a well-seasoned woodworker, designer, and artist such as Mitch Ryerson communicates the power… Read more »

Designer Spotlight – Susan Goltsman and the Emergence of Inclusive Design

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How Creating Environments that Support Everyone’s Potential Became Mainstream Policy     The world is filled with unsung heroes and Susan Goltsman is certainly one of them. As a founding principal of the design firm Moore, Iacofano, Goltsman (MIG), Ms. Goltsman has worked tirelessly to move the idea that, “…every individual has the right to full and… Read more »

The Touch and Feel of Play in Toshiko MacAdam’s Textile Playgrounds

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Structures Made from Nets of Rope Inspire in This Designer’s Wonderfully Crocheted Playscapes   Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam video via PlayArt11 on YouTube.com   Toshiko MacAdam was already an accomplished artist in the Fibre Arts movement long before she began exploring the possibilities of creating textile playscapes. In fact, she was exhibiting a three-dimensional textile sculpture in Tokyo… Read more »

Limitless Fun, The Impact of Rick Henke’s Approach to Playground Creation

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Playgrounds Were Nothing New, Until Goric’s Founder Helped Change the Game     It all comes down to perspective. Children explore a world much different than the ones inhabited by adults. Everything is bigger and harder to reach. As a child, it can often seem that adults spend their time telling you what not to do, rather than encouraging you… Read more »

The Playground Equipment Designs of Peter Heuken

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Princess Diana Memorial Playground, Playground Equipment

The German Playground Designer Peter Heuken traces the beginnings of his world-renowned work to the age of five. That’s when he received his first real tool kit. It is not usually recommended to give sharp blades and other adult tools to someone barely past the toddler stage of life. Luckily, Mr. Heuken was not your typical child. Even… Read more »