Designer Spotlight: Isamu Noguchi

I love the work of Isamu Noguchi entirely. Please visit the link to read about his life as it was quite fascinating. He was a brilliant sculptor and architect and designed a playground for Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in 1976, in partnership with the High Museum of Art and the National Endowment for the Arts. The goal of the playground, or playscape as he called it, was instead of directing children where to play or how to play, he left it open-ended. ⁠

“I think of playgrounds as a primer of shapes and functions; simple, mysterious, and evocative; thus educational.” -Isamu Noguchi. ⁠

Noguchi was also a sculptor, so each playscape was created to be as artistic as it was functional. There are actually only two in the world, the other being in Japan. We try to make a point to visit this playscape each time we are in Atlanta, and each time, Tom Otis and I try to learn a little more about the innovative work. So I think next time, I’ll ask T.O. to design his own playscape and ask him how he would make it open-ended. ⁠

Learn more

I love this article about Mr. Noguchi

⁠From the SFMOMA exhibit

Contoured playground

A PDF on the idea of a contoured playground

Read this book.

Fantastic imagery from blueprint drawings.

Picture book on Mr. Noguchi

The East-West House is a beautiful picture book about his life.

Have you been to this playscape? I’d love to hear about your experience and how your children reacted to the free-form structures. – Erin

Playground Design

We are always on the hunt for great playground design and open spaces with public sculptures that feel like a play ground (not climbing on them of course, unless allowed). We found the ones below in Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta. You can visit one of these spots and learn more about each, by visiting...
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