As I’ve been doing this soul searching I got to thinking about what is the underlying source of my discontent with today’s playgrounds. Often when I’m trying to sort though a problem I make up a list of the issues. Here’s what I came up with when thinking about how playgrounds and play are so different.
|Play on||Play in|
|Park or schoolyard||Anywhere|
|Created by adults||Created by players|
|Drive to||Here and now|
Gosh, its no wonder we have questions about the value of playgrounds. The world of play and the playground industry couldn’t be further apart. As a designer and inventor I know that this dichotomy is an artificial construction based on a whole set of assumptions. Assumptions about what kids want, what society needs, and most of all, what won’t work. As we pursue this discussion I think we can look at any of the basic assumptions that are made about what playground are and should and should be.