The AIA Dallas Emerging Leaders Program, an invitation-only opportunity for young architects to cultivate leadership skills in the areas of firm, profession, and community, has created the design for a playground within Fair Park.

The program, now in its eighth year, provided the design services pro bono in order to help Fair Park better engage with the community. The design includes a carousel, picnic areas, a water feature, and play space. The playground design references the Art Deco style of the surrounding park, a National Historic Landmark, and the nearby museums.

The playground is intended to follow the “free play” concept of video game design, with activities with escalating levels of difficult culminating in the reward of a carousel ride.

The ELP class engaged the community in the design process for the playground with a series of events designed to solicit feedback. One in June asked children to “Build Your Playground,” and an event in August featured a pop-up installation called “Spark Park.”

Upon conclusion of the project in November, drawings and a report will be given to the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department.

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