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American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space Hardcover – August 24, 2005

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American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space + The Science of Play: How to Build Playgrounds That Enhance Children's Development + Playground Design (Architecture in Focus)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“an insightful new book that explores the degradation of playground design in the past generation”―San Francisco Chronicle

“A passionate argument . . . Solomon's work provides a welcome discourse. Her clear-headed attack on the playground as a low-risk plastic pavilion is a message for patrons and politicians.”―Children, Youth and Environments

“As difficult at this task may be, Solomon is powerfully optimistic that the current tide in American playground design will usher in a new age where local politicians, communities, and individuals will develop unique playgrounds to provide solutions to their particular problems. Because she argues for individual design solutions to individual community problems and challenges, her book does not provide a simple recipe for success; it shows something much more important. Solomon shows for the first time how American playgrounds came to be the way they are. She shows convincingly that a trend has begun; and her book details the tools to be used and the challenges that must be overcome for American playgrounds to, once again, become extraordinary catalysts of cultural and social exchange that can shape American lives for the better.” ―R. D. Kushner, Editor in Chief, ArchitectureInk.com

“Susan Solomon uses her knowledge in these areas to answer these questions and add a valuable historical layer to the existing literature on playground design. Refreshingly she investigates the aesthetic contribution of urban playgrounds designed collaboratively by architects, landscape architects, industrial designers and sculptors" that is both an "informative and fascinating chronological review.”―Landscape Architecture

From the Publisher

6 x 9 trim. 84 illus.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: UPNE; First Edition edition (August 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584655178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584655176
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan G. Solomon was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Trained as an art historian with a concentration on twentieth-century architecture, Solomon has extensive experience as curator, writer,and speaker. She heads her own research firm, Curatorial Resources & Research in Princeton, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark on June 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Susan Solomon's approach to the recent history of American Playgrounds is insightful, well-researched and very well-written. Although academic, the book is neither esoteric nor patronizing. The illustrations are excellent. As a designer, I found her discussion of safe play spaces very illuminating. I would recommend this book to practitioners, historians, and students. It's not just a history of play, but a history of American thought. Great book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By 3D Fan on February 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed and found this book quite useful in research I have been undertaking. Covers the history of american playgrounds, outlines some of the more interesting projects that often move away from the standard 'post and platform' playgrounds that dominate the market.

Great for anyone who is planning a playground or community space.

Well written, well researched and well documented references, great for practising professionals or students alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Sirois on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am currently using this book as a text for a 1-credit class called "The Playground Project" and it is such a wonderful compliment. I feel as if I am really gaining a lot of information from it, and it's a quick and fun read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Citykin on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a father that spends a lot of time at playgrounds. I bought this book because I am on a committee to for a local park re-design and wanted answers to help us build a better playground. This book gave a good history of their development and ultimate denigration into dull, oversafe structures suitable only for toddlers. At the end there is inspiration which is practical enough to help us with our neighborhood plans. Exactly what I needed.
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By lewis on July 6, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another book that while you're at reading about play, this is a must read as well! If we are going to start changing how to play in the US we need to know the history of it!
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