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Extraordinary Playscapes

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The Pulse Park, Denmark, CEBRA.

Image courtesy Mikkel Frost.

Don't miss the opening reception for Extraordinary Playscapes, on June 8 from 6:00–8:00 pm.

Today, outdoor play faces tough competition—from electronics, overscheduling, declining recess time, and lack of access to safe play spaces. Additionally, safety and liability concerns overshadow the conversation around play’s central role in enhancing children’s physical, emotional, and social development. Concerned that unstructured play might become a thing of the past, many architects, designers, and play advocates continue to explore the importance of well-designed public spaces that allow balanced, creative, and active play.

By examining the history and science of play—including 40 notable examples of playground design by international leading experts—this exhibition explores how designers translate play objectives into innovative environments.

Curated by Design Museum Boston, Extraordinary Playscapes includes playable installations, videos, scale models, and hands-on elements for viewers as they explore the art, history, and science behind the world of play. Come find your inner kid at heart, and try your hand on some of the climbable, playable playscapes within the space!

Exhibition visitors are encouraged to experiment with a massive Imagination Playground foam block set in BSA Space. Imagination Playground sets include modular bricks and cylinders accented with chutes, channels and parts that suggest motion or connectivity. They inspire children (and adults) to design their own inventions, environments and activities.

In addition, don’t miss the temporary PlayCubes installation now featured at Chinatown Park, also featured in the exhibition! Playcubes are flexible and innovative play objects offering endless opportunities for open-ended play.

Exhibition programs include public discussions with playscape design experts, workshops for adults and children, and a Playground Passport promoting actual play spaces in the neighborhoods of Boston. Kiosks at each playground will tell the story behind some of greater Boston’s most amazing playgrounds: who designed it, what strategies it is using, and more. Pick up a Playground Passport at the exhibition or a participating playground and take the tour this summer!

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