Educator and student talking while leaning on large red Play Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi
Photo: Katherine Abbott. ©INFGM / ARS

Educator Workshop: Playground Design

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
10 am–3 pm
Free with pre-registration

The Noguchi Museum is pleased to offer Professional Development Programs for educators throughout the school year. Thematic programs provide teachers with primary resources for the classroom and interdisciplinary strategies for including Isamu Noguchi’s art and writing in their curriculum.

How can a playground also be a sculpture? How does a playground serve the community? Isamu Noguchi began conceiving playgrounds for New York City in 1933. His early models reflect his interests in bridging fine art and everyday life. During a time when mass-produced playground equipment reigned, Noguchi’s designs considered people of all ages and abilities. With a focus on “creative play,” his models included elements like wading pools, earth modulations, amphitheaters, and slides. Although none of his playgrounds were created in New York City, they have been realized in other parts of the world, including the monumental Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Japan.

Teachers in this workshop will learn about Noguchi’s extensive history creating playground designs, and will explore both his models and Play Sculpture (c.1965, fabricated 2017), a full-sized piece of play equipment on view in the galleries. In the studio, teachers will learn how to create playground models, which can be applied for students in grades K–12. Each teacher will receive a poster-sized image of a Noguchi playground model for their classroom, and pdf files of the primary resources reviewed throughout the day.

Spaces for the Playground Design professional development workshop are limited, and will be available on a first-come, first serve basis.