STEM Learning through Sand and Water Play

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If you’ve been following national education trends with even passing interest, you’re familiar with STEM. The curricular model focuses on educating students across four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) through an integrated, applied learning approach. It first gained ground under the Obama administration’s 2009 “Educate to Innovate” campaign, galvanized by the recognition that US… Read more »

How to Get Renovation Right: A Case Study of the Healy Playground in Boston

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In nearly any playground renovation, one of the most complex and overlooked challenges landscape architecture firms and municipal departments face is siting and configuring the project to serve the community’s interests. Often a successful project is one that cleverly toes a line between historical and regulatory constraints and the stakeholders’ strongly held ambitions. Working within… Read more »

Ping Pong Moves Into Parks and Playgrounds

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Placing a ping pong table in a public park is a social act; it creates a venue for interaction, a place where strangers can rub elbows, chat, and engage in friendly competition. In an urban setting, in particular, a ping pong table can spark conversation and friendships among people, who might otherwise occupy separate social… Read more »

Restoration of a New Deal-Era Gem in Central Park: A Case Study of Toll Family Playground

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In the era of the New Deal, federally sponsored public works projects led to the creation of parkways, beaches, zoos, golf courses, and hundreds of playgrounds in New York City. At the center of this work was Robert Moses, chairmen of the New York Park Association’s Metropolitan Conference on Parks, who, in 1934, was appointed… Read more »

Modern Offices Borrow a Page from Playgrounds

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Wellbeing is the word echoing through the boardrooms of Fortune 100 companies vying to recruit and retain top talent. From the rock climbing wall at Google’s New York headquarters to Red Bull’s reception area that transforms into after-work bar, innovative office designs are radically transforming workplaces and the way workers perform their jobs. Several organizational… Read more »

Zorlu Center in Instanbul,Turkey: A Case Study

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This week we feature a guest blog from the Dutch design firm Carve, a case study in which the authors describe the design of a challenging, architecturally stunning playground developed in Instanbul, Turkey in collaboration with London-based WATG landscape architects. We’re enamored with the two stacked cubic towers—gorgeous structures that hang in suspension like a… Read more »

Designer Profile: Noa Haim and Collective Paper Aesthetics

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The journey of Dutch designer Noa Haim into paper structure began in 2008 at the London Festival of Architecture, where she developed a participatory installation as part of her graduate work as an architecture student at the Berlage Institute. With the assistance of the FabLab Den Haag and volunteer teams of builders, Haim created a… Read more »

Meet the Vertical Playground: The Wallholla

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Verticality has been an architectural obsession since the time of the first skyscrapers in the late nineteenth century. But, at playgrounds, the idea of building lofty, multi-story structures on a small footprint is relatively young. Of course, with a higher percentage of the population dwelling in cities than ever before, and land at a premium,… Read more »

Playgrounds of Culture and Place

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Several weeks ago, we caught up with Angelica Rockquemore for a designer profile. Our conversation was illuminating and brought to light an emerging area of interest in the field: how parks and playspaces can serve to deepen cultural and environmental understanding and lay the foundation for the development of broader community health. We thought her… Read more »

Playgrounds Spin into the Next Generation

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Ever tried twirling on a playground spinner as an adult? Did it make your stomach turn? It’s not uncommon. When adults spin, the centrifugal motion can make them feel dizzy and uncomfortable, even sick. But spatial disorientation is good for our brain in appropriate doses, which is why sitting at long meeting or on an… Read more »

Designer Profile: Native Hawaiian Angelica Rockquemore on the ASLA National Diversity Summit and Natural Learning Spaces

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Angelica Rockquemore is a bit of a whiz kid. A landscape designer and planner at Honolulu-based HHF Planners, the Fulbright Fellow’s decorated education and professional career includes research and planning of Japanese gardens in Kyoto, design of outdoor play areas in Maori language immersion preschools, neighborhood concept development in Portland, and ethnographic research and writing… Read more »

2018 ASLA Diversity Summit Recruits New Voices

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Landscape architecture is in need of more diversity. While professionals of color are designing outdoor spaces and green infrastructure responsive to their communities – from parks and playgrounds to campuses and residential properties – the demographics of the profession fail to reflect those of the wider population. As reported in a newsletter of the American… Read more »