The Griff Slides of Erie: Fast, Curvy and Transformational

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Goric embankment slide

Even before their official dedication last month, the Griff slides of Erie, Pennsylvania had taken on almost mythic proportions. “This is just huge for the Erie community,” said landscape architect Alex Luddy. “That’s shown by all the community involvement we had.” From a gleam in the eye of Erie developer Rick Griffith, to the completed… Read more »

Games to Play With Others and Still Stay Safe

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50 years ago, a ping pong tournament connected China to the world. Today, the table top tennis game is doing the same for families and neighbors. Social distancing may have put a halt to team sports, but games like ping pong, badminton, corn hole toss and tennis are allowing Americans to connect with others while… Read more »

Water Play That Lets Kids Be Engineers

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There is a new thinking in water play design that has as much in common with the ubiquitous splash park as a neighborhood playground has with an adventure destination. We noted this trend several months ago in discussing the first season of the water play area at Knudsen Park in Holladay, Utah. The community there… Read more »

Curvy Blocks Unite Young and Old

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In February, we profiled Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik, founders of an emerging multidisciplinary architecture practice whose arresting play structures reconsider the form and context of traditional playground elements. Winners of the League Prize of the Architectural League of New York in 2018, the inventive duo designed a circular swingset in Buffalo, brought a pink… Read more »

Outdoor Water Laboratories Gaining Ground

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When you think of a water playground, your mind might conjure images of a splash pad. Fountains spraying jets of water. Children running past open-mouthed animals or cartoon characters, laughing and shrieking as they get soaked. And, indeed, this is one version of water play—and not a bad way for kids to spend an afternoon…. 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 »

The Shape and Form of Playgrounds

- Written by - filed under Design Ideas, Innovative Designs, Product Education, What's New.

To the curious eye, forms and shapes are everywhere. From turrets and lampshades to clock gears and armadillos, the world is alive with architecture. And it’s reasonable to presume most landscape architects and designers think of playgrounds this way: built or organic works, with a coherent form and structure, and a function designed for those… Read more »

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 »

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 »