The 6 Best Sculptural Playgrounds

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If the playspaces finding their way to the “best-of” lists of publications such as Business Insider, Mental Floss, and Land 8 are a sign of the future, the days of the humdrum platform-and-beam playground are in short supply. Whether found in Copenhagen, Sydney, or Memphis, the world’s best playgrounds are filled with tunnels, ropes, cables,… Read more »

Making Music in Parks and Botanic Gardens

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Music and nature have long been sympathetic partners. The tradition of music in gardens reaches back to the open-air rites and communal celebrations of indigenous groups worldwide, and continues today at parks, university campuses, public memorials, and botanic gardens. Here we look at several ways the experience of music in gardens is becoming more accessible… Read more »

Designer Profile: Architecture Duo Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik Partner with Goric to Reimagine the Playground

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Former Herzog & de Meuron architects Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik started a multidisciplinary architecture practice in 2015 with the aim of bringing together their varied interests in visual arts, public education, and architecture.The duo’s work cuts a wide cloth, from temporary installations to permanent architectural projects, from oral histories to playspaces in disguise. Recognized… Read more »

Playground in the Picturesque: The Revival of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Linear Park in Atlanta

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Where to begin talking about Frederick Law Olmsted? The life and achievements of the Renaissance man revered as the “father” of landscape architecture are almost impossible to summarize succinctly. But a synopsis of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers Project, a partially published collection of twelve volumes of journals and professional papers spanning the years from… Read more »

Best Playgrounds and Playscapes of 2018

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We bid farewell to the past year with feelings of hope and accomplishment. As we set our sights on 2019, we take heart not only in the varied ways the tools and instruments of play, as defining elements of the public realm, are taking root beyond the playground, but also in the continued advance of… Read more »

‘Tis the Season for Play: A Holiday Wish List for Playgrounds

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With the holiday season in full swing, we’d like to showcase some recently released play options we’re really excited about. We like these designs for distinct reasons. Some uncover the enriching possibilities of the playground for children with atypical physical or cognitive needs. Others are especially innovative and daring in their designs. Still others create… Read more »

Designer Profile: School Zone Institute’s Anne Taylor on Learning by Design

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Around the start of the new millennium, Anne Taylor, Ph.D., the 85-year-old president of School Zone Institute (501-c-3), gave the keynote speech at a conference called Better Schools For a New Century, hosted in San Francisco by the America Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education. Then the director of the Institute for… Read more »

Access is Not Inclusion: The Battlecry of the Play Brigade

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A little more than four years ago, when Dawn Oates took her youngest daughter, Harper, to a neighborhood playground in Boston to play with her older twin siblings, she found herself deeply dispirited. For Harper, an eager two-year old born with a debilitating spinal cord injury at birth, there was nowhere to play. Graded walkways… Read more »

Come Feel the Brotherly Love and Win a Ping Pong Table at this Year’s ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia   

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rectangle table tennis

Philadelphia is a city known for its colonial history, intellectual heft, and industrial grit. The city’s widely spaced grid of roads, gardens, residences, and public squares, planned by Quaker William Penn in the fashion of a rural English town, frames a poignant historical backdrop for this year’s ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, which will be… Read more »

Trampoline Parks: A Win for the Big City Birthday Party

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If there are seasons of life, there are also months and weeks. So, if I’m now entering life’s early autumn, the more precise time I am currently living through might be termed the birthday party years. Just about once a month, my wife and I travel with my son and daughter to a high-octane indoor… Read more »