Playground Equipment: Postdigital Design and the Mechanics of History, Urban Space, and Play

Playground Equipment: Postdigital Design and the Mechanics of History, Urban Space, and Play

Authors: Seth Giddings

Abstract

This article examines children’s playgrounds as technological, spatial, and historical phenomena, juxtaposing their origins in the industrial era of the late 19th to early 20th centuries with Lightbug, a recent project to develop digitally augmented playground equipment. Questions of space, movement, mechanics, imagination, play, and technical and historical specificity will be explored and it will be suggested that attention to the industrial and machinic character of playground technology can highlight contemporary attitudes to, and possibilities for, children’s outdoor play in the postdigital era. It asks questions about the introduction of digital technology and media forms into long-established physical play, about the physicality and technical nature of embodied play, and about the relationships between play, play environments, and imagination highlighted in times of technological change.

Journal:
Space and Culture
Year:
2024