A Play-full Event

October 25, 2013 by Parks Conservancy Staff

I like to think of myself as a kid at heart.

Although I can’t quite make it across the monkey bars anymore, and I’ve outgrown most of the slides, I still enjoy my old playground spots vicariously through my nieces and nephews. Indoors, they seem to have a natural knack for mastering new electronics and apps. But outside on the jungle gym, they play just like my friends and I used to back in grade school.

While visiting the 2013 Carnegie International’s Playground Project a few weeks ago, I felt like a little kid all over again. It’s one thing seeing just how similar today’s generation’s play is to mine; it’s another to see these similarities in older generations – from different countries! The Playground Project walks you through the “growing up”, so to speak, of the study of play and how children’s spaces have transformed from the early 20th century to today. Along this timeline, psychologists, landscape architects, artists, and many others had a hand in shaping kids’ interactive spaces.

Next Tuesday, October 29th, is the next point on this timeline. Join The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy as we explore playgrounds all over the world and right in our backyards. Along with The Carnegie Museum of Art and Playful City USA, we’ll be hosting experts from abroad and from our own staff to examine the art of developing play spaces that spark children’s creative minds. This discussion will be in light of our recent work with a coalition in the Hill District to renovate the beloved community playground at Cliffside Park, and all proceeds from the event will go towards the upcoming work there.

In tandem with the panel discussion, the event also includes admission to The Playground Project. This engaging and imaginative exhibit has received national acclaim, and with good reason. Check out some images from the work featured in the exhibit:

Carl Theodor Sørensen's "junk playgrounds" prompted kids to design and build their own play spaces.

The Lozziwum, a colorful play structure designed by Yvan Pestalozzi in 1972, is now a fixture in front of the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Aldo van Eyck's playgrounds were prevalent in Amsterdam, and encouraged children to play adventurously.

Lady Allen of Hurtwood was also a champion of "junk playgrounds".

M. Paul Friedberg's playground in Central Park, 1985.

Engaging Children's Imaginations with Creative Playgrounds

Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue

6:00 pm

Registration and more information on each of the panel speakers can be found here.

See you there!

Lauryn Stalter for The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Many of these images, plus many more historic playground contributors, can be found here.

Park Activities, Parks Conservancy Programs, August Wilson Park, Kids and Families