If your childhood was anything like mine, outdoor playtime meant grass beneath your feet. When I moved to New York for graduate school, I could not help but notice that every playground I came across seemed blatantly to ignore the very land that it was on. It made me curious as to how, in this densely urban environment where so few children have a yard to scamper about, we are designing for outdoor play.
How has our notion of the ground on which we play come to be little more than a collection of catalog-ordered equipment: a narrow assortment of monolithic pipe-rail and plastic units moored in seas of asphalt or rubber matting? When did these Rube Goldberg-like contraptions become the standard of urban child’s play? Read More