Brooke and I have been reading through Jax Harmon's thesis. She designed an inner city playground converted from an abandoned lot. She discussed how, for today's children, play and playgrounds actually inhibit imagination and creativity. Adults frequently forget what it was like to be a child. Children learn and grow through play so it is important to allow them plenty of time for unstructured play. Middle school children still need opportunities to experiment and explore. Since they are tomorrow's innovators, it is important that they maintain the natural curiosity of children.
How this relates to the North Guilford Middle School Art Courtyard and Guilford County: Guilford County has a history in the railroad, textile mills, an edgy music scene and the arts. The art courtyard should invite exploration of textures, sounds and experimentation with materials and media.
The photos included here is the play circuit at Children's Hall, Environmental Design Institute, Miyagi Prefecture in Japan (1980). It is the inspiration for the main gesture we want to include in the courtyard. In the courtyard, the gesture will begin in the courtyard, become seating, sound buffers, musical instruments, a walkway. It will continue out of the courtyard and culminate in an amphitheatre on the other side of the encore hall.