Discover more from Craftsmanship
New audio story: "The Play Gap"
Janice O’Donnell launched a project to set up playgrounds where city kids could build anything they wanted—and break anything they wanted. She has been stunned by what everyone learned.
Back in 2016, when Craftsmanship Quarterly was still in its infancy, I became curious about the topic of play—specifically, how the decline of recess, building blocks, art and shop classes, and children’s other free-play opportunities is affecting not only their health and happiness in the present, but also their success (academic and otherwise) in the longer term. Just for starters, for the many students who are considered “kinesthetic” (people who function best, and learn best, in the tactile world—making things, doing sports, etc.), how can they develop their physical skills when schools continue to cut the activities where youngsters use their bodies, particularly their hands?
My curiosity lend me into a brief but fascinating dive into the meaning of play, and how other cultures view this fundamental part of life. I also had a chance to interview Janice O’Donnell, who created a back-to-basics style of playground for inner city kids in Providence, Rhode Island with donated “toys” like cardboard boxes, empty buckets, and a wide variety of other cast-off materials.
Today, I am pleased to present you with a new audio version of my story, “The Play Gap,” narrated by Avanthika Srinivasan. As with all of our podcasts, you can listen to or download it directly from our site, or from your favorite streaming services like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also read the original version here. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Our new Spring issue, which will continue through the end of May, is all about “The Future of Craftsmanship.” Each Friday, we’ll release a feature story, short article, mini-documentary, photo essay, or podcast that relates to our mission — to “create a world built to last.” Along with stories that speak to each issue’s theme, we always have works on other topics, so please, stay tuned.
In the meantime, I hope you'll always find something intriguing to read, watch, or listen to within our pages. We welcome your thoughts via email, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Thank you for reading and sharing our stories, for donating to our cause when you can, and for being such a loyal part of the Craftsmanship community.
Editor & Publisher, Craftsmanship Quarterly
Look at almost anything you own of real quality, and you immediately see its maker's commitment to beauty, functionality, and longevity. Those values, which in our mind define works of craftsmanship, are being aggressively tested these days, as more and more material goods exhibit shoddy workmanship, and are not made to last. The trash this creates not only damages our environment, it also erodes the principles of excellence that advance us, both individually and collectively. In this issue, we introduce you to some brave souls and organizations that are fighting to preserve, and expand, the intelligence in our hands.