Taking Play Seriously


Playground design might just take a major leap forward if an “imagination” oriented play space is built at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. David Rockwell, better known for imagining the restaurant Nobu, has designed this playground pro bono (he lives in Lower Manhattan); he is also raising money to pay for professional “play attendants,” which apparently are popular in Europe (note the lifeguard looking guy in yellow). There will be wooden ramps for running and, of course, a sandbox, but what makes this space interesting are the opportunities to turn these little tots into future engineers and architects. Foam blocks, small boats, as well as tubing, elbows and gaskets, would be available for construction projects (supervised by the play attendants, of course). There would also be a system of pulleys and ropes for children to lift and transport objects like little human cranes. The city and parks department are on board, so on the “Build Meter” (I just made that up) of 1-10, I give this a 7.5 that it’ll likely get done.

New York Tries to Think Outisde the Sandbox [Times]

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