Cityscape as Playscape / PlaySFMOMA
Noguchi Hoops is an interactive game designed by Fletcher Studio to bring awareness to the works of artist Isamu Noguchi through play. The game brings to life a previously unrealized basketball hoop designed by Noguchi and utilizes them in a series of ball related games. In all games, players take turns laying down geometric shapes derived from Noguchi play forms to create a custom court ‘terrain’. Depending on the game selected, the terrains – with names such as Moonscape, Archipelago, Mountain Range and River – are used by the players to define a rule set for movement and shooting.
Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi believed that playgrounds offered unique opportunities for physical and social interaction not typically seen in museums, and he designed a number of spaces where people could actively engage with his art and each other. Cityscape as Playscapebrought Noguchi’s playful-meets-political philosophy to SFMOMA’s public spaces and surrounding streets. This experimental workshop series and one day public event was presented in conjunction with the exhibition Noguchi’s Playscapes, and was produced by the games initiative PlaySFMOMA in collaboration with the museum’s Public Dialogue and Architecture + Design curators. Game designers-in-residence were drawn from an SFMOMA continuing education class about Noguchi’s philosophies of play, public space, and the dynamics of power in the urban environment. Through a series of workshops and public playtests, these six community members created games and play activities exploring these ideas. On September 15th, these activities were opened as social, interactive engagements for the San Francisco community, in conjunction with International PARK(ing) Day, a worldwide event that encourages individuals and organizations to occupy metered parking spaces, transforming them into public spaces and inspiring critical thought about how cities are organized. In addition to five PlaySFMOMA games, SFMOMA Architecture + Design curated four activations, turning the block outside of the museum into a festival of playful engagement for thousands of participants.