Joseph Brown was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied at Temple University from 1927 to 1931 but did not graduate. Brown began a career as a professional boxer in 1929 but abandoned it in 1931 to become a studio assistant to his sculpting mentor, Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, at Princeton University. After marrying Gwyneth Noreen King, Brown began teaching and sculpting at Princeton, where he spent the rest of his academic career.
Boxing coach at Princeton University (since 1938). He later became a resident fellow in sculpture. Brown began to think about play. Brown critiqued play equipment designed by Princeton's architecture graduate students. Challengnd by the students, and somewhat embarrassed that he had no real knowledge of playground design other than his own experiences as a kid, Brown began to come up with his own devices. Architects and landscape architects were quickly aware of his experiments. Robert Nichols, one of the founders of Playground Associates, wrote to him for help when they formed their company that would soon produce the Saddle Slide.
He believed deeply that play was a peparation for adulthood, a popular view since the early part of the twentieth century. Brown wanted his pieces to demonstrate cause and effect as part of normal behavior, with the aim of forming cooperative future citizens.
Brown was able to build several prototypes, but none is known to have gone into full-scale production. By 1957, full-size prototypes of Brown's work were in place in Philadelphia, London, Tokyo, and some New Jersey towns.
aus: Susan G. Salomon: American Playgrounds. Revializing Community Space, University Press of New England, 2005, pp.36-41.
Bilder aus: Ledermann A. und Trachsel A., Spielplatz und Gemeinschaftszentrum, 1959.
Bearbeitet am: 9.2.2012
Joe Brown: Jiggle Ring, ca 1954
Joe Brown: Schwingring
Joe Brown: Whale Yard, ca 1955