Are you familiar with the work of Isamu Noguchi? He’s an interesting figure in the history of American art.
As a sculptor and landscape architect he is widely recognized through his collaborations with Herman Miller, the furniture company.
He is also more generally known from some of the landscapes he architected, including the now famous Japanese Garden at UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, France.
Noguchi is also known, however minimally, as an original thinker of children’s playgrounds. Yep, there’s such a thing. A new book, Isamu Noguchi: Playscapes, aims to correct his place in the world.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
“In 1933, the visionary sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) began making design proposals for children’s playgrounds in New York. The first one, Play Mountain (1933), marked the beginning of the artist’s fascination with exploring points of intersection between sculpture, public spaces and, above all, play.”
Basically, Noguchi put forward an experimental approach to playscapes that tried to incorporate his thinking on sculptures. Tying these landscapes to the concept of play – running, jumping, sliding – Noguchi was able to achieve an unprecedented approach to childhood.
Have you visited any cool playgrounds recently? Did you know there were actually design philosophies behind playgrounds? We didn’t, not until we read this book. Be sure to share your experiences in the chat.
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