Collection by Paige Johnson

An Introduction to Modern Playscapes


In honor of our family themed July/August issue, we've invited guest writer Paige Johnson, who spearheads the blog Playscapes, to share her perspective on some of the most innovative contemporary design targeted to kids. Week 1: An Introduction to Modern Playscapes.

From playgrounds that derive inspiration from nature to pop-up urban installations, spaces for play are transitioning away from traditional manufactured solutions—ie. the ubiquitous plastic and/or metal jungle gyms one spies at most playgrounds—and getting the attention they deserve as exciting design opportunities. I use the term playscapes to highlight sites that move beyond the playground fence to become total landscapes for play.

Click through the slideshow for a look at seven great playscapes.

By using only safety surfacing and equipment in a naturalized garden space, Stoss Landscape Urbanism designed a springy...
In the work of Danish firm Monstrum (translation: monster), slightly surreal "storyscapes" of shipwrecks, beasties, and...
A playscape doesn’t have to be a separate plot of ground.
Playscapes are an amazing but often overlooked venue for artists.
The idea of the natural playscape—creative combinations of rocks and stumps, sand and water—is a huge trend in...
The giant seesaws at Tilla Durieux Park in Berlin work beautifully as both sculpture and play equipment, not to mention...
A natural addition to the idea of pop-up stores, parks, and restaurants is the pop-up playscape.