On occasion friends, family and colleagues traveling abroad indulge my playground proclivities. When I hear of an impending trip, I ask the traveler if they would consider keeping an eye out for interesting playgrounds and bringing back a few photos to share with readers of PlayGroundology.
Colleagues sometimes look at me a little bemusedly smiling all the while – they’re usually not aware of my playground blogging but are game to grab a few digital images once I give them the elevator pitch. To date, PlayGroundology‘s intrepid freelance photographers have provided great pics from small town Italy, Paris, Hong Kong, Scotland, Vienna and most recently, Atlanta.
Shortly after I heard my co-worker Chris was Atlanta bound I popped the question. Any chance of taking a few snaps of the Isamu Noguchi designed Playscapes? Turns out he was staying close by Piedmont Park and thought he’d be able to swing it.
When an artist stops being a child, he stops being an artist.
– Isamu Noguchi
Inscription on the rededication plaque for Playscapes, the Noguchi-designed playspace in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park
Play aficionados revere Noguchi. Even though he was a visionary at creating space for kid’s play, only two of his designs, Atlanta’s Playscapes and the Kodomo No Kuni Playground near Tokyo, were realized during his lifetime. The sculptor, artist and landscape architect has a museum dedicated to his life work in Long Island, New York.
Playscapes model. Source: The Noguchi Museum
During some down time, Chris strolled through the gates of stately Piedmont Park and made his way over to the Playscapes playground. On arrival he read a sign with the following message. “This playground is an area for children’s recreation. Adults unaccompanied by children are respectfully requested to use another part of the park.” As unobtrusively as possible, before receiving a tap on the shoulder from a parent or member of the local constabulary, he snapped the pics in the slideshow below and hightailed it to ‘another part of the park’. Thank you Chris for your steely determination in the face of opprobrium.
Playscapes slideshow. Photo Credits: Chris Brooks. Click through here or on image above for flickr slideshow.
Atlanta’s Playscapes is elegant in its simplicity, functional and fun with the added benefit of lending itself as a tool to explore geometry and shapes.
For more on Noguchi’s playground designs check these fine write ups in LandscapeOnline.com and Sweet Juniper. To view some interesting models for Noguchi playspaces click through on Remiss 63’s photostream on flickr. Finally, here is a brief story with photos on the Playscapes restoration from the Atlanta Task Force on Play.
My fine arts photography major daughter Alexa will set aside some time on her trip to New York City later this week to grab shots of NYC playgrounds. I can’t wait to see what her keen eye captures for PlayGroundology readers.
If you have playground photos you’d like to share in PlayGroundology, we’d love to see them. Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back in touch with you.