Extraordinary Playscapes • On View Through July 11th

Start Date

April 6, 2017

End Date

July 11, 2017


Extraordinary Playscapes 

On View: April 6 – July 11, 2017 
San Francisco Main Library
Fisher Children’s Center, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA

Download Press Release

Featured in The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, FastCo Exist, WBUR’s The ARTeryNext CityCurbed, PDX Parent, and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

This national exhibition and education program explores the latest thinking in playground design while presenting how vital free play is to childhood development, thriving communities, and social equity.

What we learn through play impacts our physical, mental, social, and creative health — and designers, architects, and play advocates are taking notice. Extraordinary Playscapes examines the art, history, science, and importance of play, while telling the story behind some of the most incredible play spaces in the world.  Featuring over 40 international playgrounds, drawings, sketches, videos, scale models, and playable installations, the interactive exhibition examines the importance of play and the latest thinking in playground design. From towering treetop paths to hand-knit crochet playgrounds, visitors will discover how architects and designers worldwide are engaging diverse communities to translate play objectives into state-of-the-art and meaningful environments.

This expansive exhibition arrives in San Francisco on April 6th after successful residencies in both Portland, OR and Boston, MA. 


Playground Passport 

Explore San Francisco playgrounds this summer with our interactive Playground Passport!

Along with the public exhibition, we’re taking the program right to your local playgrounds. Design Museum San Francisco kiosks will highlight and tell the story behind some of San Francisco’s most amazing playgrounds: who designed it, what strategies it is using, and more. Beginning April 6th, pick up a playground passport at the exhibition or a participating playground and take the tour this summer!

Attended the exhibition? Tell us what you thought in this 30-second survey!

Public Events:

Extraordinary Playscapes will incorporate interactive experiences, educational programming, talks, and children’s workshops throughout the summer.

Opening Reception

April 6, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00pm San Francisco Main Library – 100 Larkin St.

RSVP Here!


UNITE: Why Play?

June 22, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30pm Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library – 100 Larkin St.

RSVP Here!


Kid’s Workshop

June 24th, 2017, 10:30am – 12:30pm

More details coming soon!

Exhibition Preview:

Wild Walk, Chip Reay and The Wild Center
Tupper Lake, NY
Courtesy of the Wild Center

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PlayForm7, Playworld Inc
Courtesy of Playworld

Espanade 11 copy
Esplanade Playspace, Halvorson Design Partnership
Boston, MA
Courtesy of Halvorson Design Partnership

Takino Rainbow Nest, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam
Takino, Japan
Courtesy of Interplay Design

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Maggie Daley Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Chicago, IL
Courtesy of MVVA

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Ambulance Playground, Super Local
Beit CURE Hospital, Malawi, Africa
Courtesy of Super Local

Playground Passport