Designing for Children
in Community Gardens
(1997)

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Fellows

Bill Buchen, sonic architect
Mary Buchen, sonic architect
Kate Dodd, sculptor
Katie Winter, architect

Community gardens thrive in low-income communities in New York City. These gardens are fenced, clean, and beautiful spaces occupied by watchful eyes, and their biodiverse settings offer a greater range of options for play and learning by young children than traditional playgrounds.

The Design Trust, working in conjunction with the Children’s Environments Research Group, a CUNY program with widely-acknowledged expertise on children and their environments, selected three designers via a competition to design and construct prototypical children’s play areas in three separate New York City community gardens.




The three fellows worked with the community gardeners to create intimately-scaled, affordable designs that will provide neighborhood children with the chance for real outdoor fun (making mudpies, building dams to control the flow of rivulets, creating forts and hideaways, etc.) and much-needed contact with the natural environment.


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