Bank of America volunteers ready theWoodruff Park playground for the big day.
On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed will unveil a playground in the most surprising of places - downtown Woodruff Park on the corner of the city's two most famous streets, Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue. This is no ordinary playground. It is the winning design from the Playable10 International Design Competition, a project of the Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP) and partner, Georgia Tech's College of Architecture. It is one of a kind and a long time in the making.
Playable10 began one evening several years ago as I read American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space by Susan G. Solomon. In it the author described the playground design competition hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1954. I had long been upset by the boring sameness of America's playgrounds and I thought perhaps something like a design competition would lead to something fun. About the same time I stumbled upon "And The Winner Is...", a then-new report about prizes from McKinsey & Company that clearly outlined the power of a competition to spur on innovation. A meeting with Georgia Tech Assistant Professor of Industrial Design Claudia Rébola led to a partnership and Playable10 was born. An impressive group of jurors took on the difficult task of determining the winner and Central Atlanta Progress agreed to make Woodruff Park the home of the winning play structure.
The reach of the competition was stunning as entries came from all over the world. In the end, the winning design came from Jeff Santos, a video game designer in Canada. Next week, the structure will be open for play business!
This past Friday, volunteers from prize sponsor Bank of America came out to install the playground landscaping:
Coming up: the difficult task of selecting a winner from the many strong entries...and, then, how are we going to build this thing?!?