Playscapes – A Blog about Playground Design is written by Paige Johnson. Paige has challenged readers to explore with her unique solutions to children’s play in the landscapes around them. She highlights playgrounds from around the world with their interesting features and architectural designs that delight the eye as well as the children who enjoy them.
Writing from outside the landscape architecture profession, Paige is a scientist who spends her days in a laboratory. Taking a break from the lab for one year, she studied at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom where she received a master’s degree in garden history. Her interest in playgrounds evolved from the search she did when her small church needed a new playground. After contacting commercial suppliers of playground equipment, she was stunned at the costs and began to search for alternative approaches for play spaces.
Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Paige began blogging in 2007, initially as a means to keep track of things that interested her. She blogged about garden history, church design, intersections between science and art, and playgrounds. Her Playscapes blog, which she started in March of 2008, quickly became the most popular, with a following of readers who share her desire to find unique play spaces for children. Her Garden History Girl blog includes beautiful pictures and thoughtful information about landscapes, gardens, and the history of garden design and has a good following as well.1
Her purpose for writing Playscapes can be understood by these statements on her blog: “Because it’s difficult to find non-commercial playground information. And I find that frustrating. Because a playground doesn’t have to cost a million bucks and come in a box. In fact, it’s better if it doesn’t. Because playgrounds are under-recognized as an artistic medium. Because everybody loves a playground.”2
Her blog posts include a wide range of topics, such as adventure playgrounds and playground history, playable sculpture, natural playgrounds, art about playgrounds, and interesting playgrounds and play spaces from around the world.
Paige describes her readers as “people who care about play, and who know we need to do better by it, and who feel, often intuitively without knowing exactly why or how, that play is better when the space for play is better.” To encourage their involvement, she has launched the Playscapes Forum as a venue for active discussion and engagement.3
- 1. Johnson, Paige. “A Voice from Outside The Profession.” Landscape Architecture. June 2009. p. 49.
- 2. “About Playscapes.” Playscapes. < http://playgrounddesigns.blogspot.com/ > 18 Jan. 2012.
- 3. Johnson, Paige. “Happy Birthday Aldo! Happy Birthday Blog!” Playscapes. < http://playgrounddesigns.blogspot.com/ > 15 March 2012.