Following my previous post, which looked at a number of (sculptural and adventure) playgrounds designed by architects and artists between 1930-80 in America who sought to create meaningful and creative spaces for children's play; I am now going to look at what is happening today.
It can be said, that we are beginning to witness a resurgence of interest in children's play. Perhaps this is because playgrounds today are competing for kids' time and losing. Nearly 25% of children aged 9-13 have no free time for physical activity, and a child is six times as likely to play a videogame as to ride a bike. Therefore, the playgrounds of tomoroow must offer something that even the most enticing virtual offerings cannot: real spaces that look at least as amazing as anything virtual (Manaugh, 2012).
Architects and designers are beginning to rise to this challenge, creating spaces that are complex, engaging and some even with technological gadgets to push.
Two types of approaches to playgrounds appear to have emerged:
Loose Parts: which allow the user to create their own play sculpture and can be transported from site to site.
Playscapes: which work on the thesis of combining play with landscape design - these playgrounds transform urban space into vibrant play spaces.
Geometry Playground, The Exploratorium, San Francisco