Spark

Playing with fire (and playground design)

There's a swing towards adventure playscapes.
Adventure Playground in Berkeley, California encourages kids to climb, hammer, saw, and paint. (Courtesy of Adventure Playground)
Listen11:37

In the world of playground design, there's a swing towards adventure playscapes. Places where children can build, climb, break things, swing from things, and even make fire.

The Land, a playground in Wales where kids can light fires, build forts, hammer nails and brandish hatchets. (Play On Plas Madoc/Facebook)

Sam Aquillano, is a designer and the Executive Director of Design Museum Foundation -- a national network of local design museums operating in Boston, Portland and San Francisco.

The Wild Walk playground in Tupper Lake, New York. (Courtesy of The Wild Center)

Their latest exhibition is called Extraordinary Playscapes. It looks at the history of play, and also tells the story behind some of the most innovative playgrounds in the world. 

The Ambulance Playground in Blantyre, Malawi is completely accessible, promoting interaction between disabled children receiving care at the nearby Beit CURE Hospital and the children living in the neighbourhood. (Courtesy of Super Local)

Sam's been thinking a lot about why the playgrounds we hang out in growing up, can have such a meaningful impact on our lives. He embraces a return to unsupervised playtime in playgrounds designed to help kids try, fail, and figure things out.

At the AMC Highland Center Playgrounds in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, kids climb rocks, navigate rope bridges, and explore caves. (Courtesy of AMC)
Imagination Playground is really a loose parts equipment system that can transform any space into a play space. ( Courtesy of Rockwell Group)

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