Art For All: The Case For Designing Children’s Playgrounds

Art For All: The Case For Designing Children’s Playgrounds
Playgrounds are essential for keeping children entertained and engaged. They provide an excellent opportunity to learn, have fun and develop problem-solving skills. With the adoption of an act establishing societies providing parks and playgrounds, the city of New York saw the first historically significant and fundamental manifestation of passion for playgrounds in 1888. And in 1891, the city of New York established its experimental playgrounds on Second Avenue between 90th and 91st Streets. Four years later, a historic rule requiring outdoor playgrounds in all new school buildings was passed. Despite the fact that play has been acknowledged for more than a century in many countries, there are still numerous nations and localities without playground development regulations.

It's crucial to understand the distinction between a public park and a public playground. In a city or abroad, a public park is created, planned, and constructed for the entire population; it does not belong to any one class, gender, or ethnicity. Public playgrounds, however, are created exclusively for kids. According to Friedberg, the public park's concept and value are not based on the educational or physical skill-building opportunities it provides. It can be made to serve a variety of functions, including giving a getaway from the city, engaging with nature, tracking, and serving as an outdoor gym. Art can be extremely beneficial for children. Art can help children learn about their own bodies and the world around them, as well as how to express themselves artistically. It can also help children develop a sense of creativity and expression. Public playgrounds, on the other hand, are highly regarded for a variety of reasons, including fostering children's interest in engaging with nature, fostering social interaction, improving motor skills, and fostering emotional and physical development. As kids become older, their interactions with the playground become more crucial since they are learning new things.

‘’Children should not be introduced to playgrounds; playgrounds should be introduced to children in the city.’’

For young children, climbing, swinging, and sliding are frequent activities. These are undoubtedly a component of play, but when seeing kids interact with one another in a material-rich setting, what they are doing often resembles labour. According to Idrees Hanif, children are particularly drawn to traditional static playgrounds with permanent equipment while they are young. They are either being built or destroyed. As a response, nations in Northern Europe have created "adventure playgrounds," which are locations with a range of materials and substantial child involvement in their building. Children on an adventure playground resemble adult construction workers with some squinting, these types of playgrounds are designed by collaborating with artists, musicians, architects, and other creative communities of any culture, society or city.

The subject has been touched upon at MOMA exhibitions at the Reina Sofia, Madrid ('Playgrounds,' "The Century of Childhood," and Zurich ('The Playground Project,') but without exploring the whole urban impact of the play. The subject has been extensively explored using a variety of methods, including sports and kid-friendly activities. Tracheal and Ledermann explained essential concepts concerning its assembly and spatial requirements that were only focused on children in their graphs of playground improvements.

American and Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi is well renowned for his interventions in public playgrounds. By using his imaginative vision and keeping usability and functionality as core design principles, he created the intersection of architectural and landscape design intervention. To further connect art and the community, he also used his artistic language to produce artwork for playgrounds. He has been referred to as a sociocultural interactionist. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta commissioned Noguchi to build "Playscapes," the first playground he had designed in the United States. To create playground sculptures that could be purchased from catalogs, organizations like Creative Playthings worked with artists like the Danish playwright Egon Möller-Nielsen in the 1950s. In fact, in 1954, they organized a play sculpture event in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Its steel cage may be swung around. Several playground designers were motivated by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Due to Parks Commissioner Robert Moses' preference for his own recurrent steel bar-based play facilities, neither of the New York City playgrounds he designed in the 1930s was ever built. Future individuals like Richard Dattner were inspired by Noguchi's concepts of sculptural ecosystems.

In the last ten years, the Punjab Education Sector Project has begun focusing on the accessibility and quality of education in Punjab. It was discovered that only 37% of Punjab's 7.4 million youngsters between the ages of 3 and 5 are able to attend school. However, it is possible to go through the preschool years again, especially if you started school too early and switched schools after passing the preschools. Early childhood education is receiving close attention from the Punjab government (ECE). The department is attempting to create a curriculum based on learning through play for kids in grades 1-3.

At the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

In Punjab, nearly half of government schools, particularly girls, lack playgrounds, while the remaining 21% of boys' schools lack this imported resource to play. Lahore is one of the province's major cities. The overall picture is not encouraging, as only 65 percent of the province's nearly 6,000 schools have playgrounds. The remaining schools are located in private locations such as tiny residences and structures. Khalid Khattak received the information from the Punjab School Education Department under the Right to Information Act. The Punjab Education Foundation is now working with the Punjab Government to establish new schools through public-private collaboration. Because most private schools are established in enclosed rented buildings, the difficulty is to ensure that such schools will have playground amenities. According to a district-by-district breakdown, Lahore has the second-lowest percentage of school playgrounds, at 49 percent. In accordance with the Right to Information Act, Khalid Khattak who is a reporter/data storyteller obtained data from the Punjab School Education Department which reveals that; In Punjab, only 21% of the boys' schools lack this imported playground equipment, compared to over 50% of the government schools for girls. The overall picture is not encouraging, only 6,000 schools have playgrounds.  The remaining schools are housed in privately owned buildings and small homes.

A few artists have chosen to focus on these issues, like Idrees Hanif, who took the effort to include them in his master's thesis study project. The construction of various types of public playgrounds that will improve children's educational experiences is a joint effort between local governments and the creative sector of educational institutions. These initiatives also aid in the development of educational measures in fields like education, allowing for the creation of playground activities that encourage learning through informal means.