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Art of Play

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

This time of year we like to share our thoughts about those things we are thankful for. As playground designers we are thankful for the inspiration we can draw from art, nature, exploration and playful design. As a thank you to our customers we have compiled our favorite images and articles we find inspiring and how they can be translated to influence the world of play.

Street Art/Murals – In a three-part series, artnet News aims to find the best and brightest street artists working today, from known entities to emerging artists flying under the radar. James Goldcrown, Lovewall inspired design solution – The playful hearts and layering of colors can be expressed in playground design using the curved forms of these custom talk tubes from Sonic Architecture.

Mona Caron “Taking Root” – Larger Than Life Mural

“San Francisco artist Mona Caron creates a 7 story tall mural featuring the first tiny wildflower that made it back to a barren piece of land in Union City, California, after its rehabilitation from industrial pollution. At the roots of the wildflower, a symbol of resilience, the new inhabitants of this area collaborate with the artist to add welcoming phrases in their many native languages to the painting, and to brainstorm ideas for a future vision of their still raw new neighborhood.”

Mona Caron’s “Taking Root” larger than life inspired design solution – Neptune XXL – Standing at over 30 feet tall provides striking colors and sculptural form at a scale to compliment Mona Caron’s mural.

Tokyo Disney Sea Park Sculptural Mosaic Columns

Custom sculpture climbers like the fish below can be created in forms of your choosing by UPC Parks and shrouded in Mosaic by Chico based artist Robin Indar.

Outside the box designs

Playground nets and slides can be introduced into office spaces, day care facilities or other building to bring play inside of our buildings like the Swarovski Towers by Snohetta.

Nature Play

Andy Goldsworthy’s playful use of color and undulating forms can inspire serpent net designs like that of Elephant Play Climb trail Series.

Space Travel

Space travel has inspired playground designs for generations from the first Miracle Playground Equipment Rocket Ship designs of the 60s to the newest space age designs of today.

Inspired Designs – Space Themed Designs

Inspirations of Music

“Where words fail, Music Speaks”- unknown

Music is a universal language that evokes emotion in all of us. Whether it is a peaceful melody or an 80 rock song from your past. Music helps us feel, and sometimes we all need to feel a little more human. The Play Me I’m Yours Street Piano project had this idea in mind.

Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over 10 million people worldwide – more than 1,500 street pianos have already been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to New York, bearing the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

Located on streets, in public parks, markets and train stations the pianos are temporarily available for everyone to play and enjoy. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated by local artists and community groups, the pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.

Another way music is hitting the streets is street performers. If you have talent and want to show it off you can pick up your instrument and hit the streets.

According to Wikipedia, Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. Street performance is practiced all over the world by men, women and children and dates back to antiquity.

It’s amazing to stumble across someone with such talent preforming for the pure joy of it and possibility being discovered. Rod Stewart, Tracy Chapman, BB King and Jewel all started out as street musicians. Here is a guy with amazing talent and all he has are plastic buckets.

Music equipment from Percussion Play, Sonic Architecture, and Miracle Recreation offer pre-tuned musical instrument.

“Play is action that can be freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated”. -Kilvington and Wood

We hope you enjoyed our collection of images and inspiration and remember you don’t need a structure, just an imagination and a desire to have fun! We believe creating fun should be inspired. Play should be something that can happen as part of daily life, not just on the playground. Make sure to share your inspiration with us and bring us your ideas for innovative design solutions and our designers, sales representatives and manufacturers will work with you to create a more playful world.

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