Between 1950 and 1980, the playground was a creative laboratory. In the cities of the industrialised world, a plethora of innovative, crazy, interesting and exciting projects were developed. Landscape architects, artists, activists and citizens sought to provide children with the best possible environment to play in and, at the same time, to rethink communal and urban life.
The Playground Project captures this wealth of ideas in images, models, plans, books and numerous films as well as in play sculptures that invite visitors to slide, play hide and seek, laugh and run. Children, parents, playground designers, educators and architects are welcome to rediscover the playground of yesteryear and to imagine that of tomorrow.
Taking its starting point in the work of the pioneers of new playground concepts in the first half of the twentieth century, the exhibition shows how their ideas were received, adapted and developed in different countries. The playground is more than just an element of urban life; it also says much about the society that devised it. Last, but by no means least, the exhibition presents playgrounds as sites with a non-standard aesthetic of their own, where citizens of all ages identify with their city.
The Playground Project was developed as a travelling exhibition by Gabriela Burkhalter and adapted for its presentation at Bundeskunsthalle in cooperation with Kunsthalle Zürich.