MoMA symposium: the child in the city of play: growing by design

October 25, 2012 in Museums


On October 19, the Museum of Modern Art hosted The Child in the City of Play: Growing by Design, a symposium held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, on view through November 5. Professionals from art history, curatorial, psychology, education, architecture, design, and nonprofit fields gathered for multi-faceted presentations and discussions about children, play, design, and urban spaces. A persistent issue was the increasing amount of time children spend in front of digital screens daily—more than 7 hours—and how to create more freedom and opportunities to roam and explore outside.

Darrell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, stressed the need for better play spaces where “play deserts”—neighborhoods that have many children and no place to play outside—currently exist. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture brought a wide lens to the topics discussed, sharing some of the inventive play-inspired projects his firm has realized and encouraging above all the concept of a playful society that makes no distinction between children and adults. With four-fifths of the world’s population living in urban environments today, all of the speakers sought inventive ways to bring creative play into cities—often acknowledging that it will take a collaborative effort to once again allow children to be children.

To learn more, watch the symposium here.

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