Remember all those funky designs in your playground as a kid? The equipment that you hardly ever see anymore made into freeformed concrete shapes such resembling large potato chips with holes or some other other-worldly half-dream, half-nightmare form as if from a Dali painting. I do... we had the big potato chip in the schoolyard and even more creations at the city parks (until city officials grew nervous about liability and replaced them with wall-to-wall foam padded safe parks).
Did you know that some of the top designers of the day worked on these creations? Here's a fine example of that playground art designed by none other than Isamu Noguchi.
The Noguchi Playground was the 1952 model made for the United Nations. Yes, apparently even the highest representatives of the world at that time needed a playground. This area was even to be given a special international diplomatic designation, but alas the park was not to become a reality, thanks to Noguchi's NYC nemesis, Robert Moses.
As it happened, Moses's blocking of the UN Playground was the fuel for MoMA championing the design, which in turn led to an exhibition at Creative Playthings' Madison Avenue toyshop. So as it happened in 1953, Creative Playthings approached Noguchi with a proposal for designing commercial playground equipment for thier new spinoff division, Play Sculptures. And the rest (I assume) is history.
You can find a whole heaping collection of Noguchi's broad range of work here on Raimist's Noguchi uploads at Flickr.
For THE book of Noguchi's creativity you can go to Amazon and purchase Ana Maria Torres' 2000 book Isamu Noguchi: A Study of Space.
Still here??? Why not go look at some more mid-century playground designs? Go to Aqua-Velvet.com fast!
Thanks to Daddytypes.com for some background info.