A Swiss art exhibition center finds sophistication and the potential for modern art in a most seemingly ordinary place: children’s playgrounds. The Kunsthalle Zürich, a center known for seeking to break boundaries in art by redefining its concepts, has begun crowdfunding The Playground Project, a book that will explore the history of playgrounds and exhibit photographs of what the center deems the most beautiful playgrounds in the world.
The project for the book was conceived after the center began planning an exhibition where it would transform several spaces into playgrounds; the accompanying book is an attempt to immortalize those spaces while further acknowledging the original architects of other famous playgrounds throughout the ages.
The photographs, taken between the 1930s through the 1980s, reveal glimpses of a time where architects treated playgrounds as a canvas for bold innovation and, well, fun. In turn, as if feeding off that feeling of innovation, children could use those playgrounds as a safe space to leave their own comfort zone. Playgrounds—part sculpture, part social experiment—became community centers that are worth, the center asserts, remembering. After all, for many, it’s difficult to conceive of any playground that doesn’t conjure the happy memories that come with brief moments of freedom.