Most people are drawn to strong geometric shapes and color. That’s one of the reasons Playworld, a leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer committed to saving unstructured outdoor play, recently launched PlayCubes. Playcubes offers a new approach to these shapes originally introduced in the 1960s.
An exclusive partnership between Playworld and Architect Richard Dattner, FAIA, has revived the use of the cuboctahedron, a geometric shape combining cubes and pyramids. Cuboctahedrons have appeared in numerous works of art and architecture throughout history. Dattner incorporated their interlocking structures into his designs for playground equipment and patented PlayCubes in 1968. Today’s PlayCubes allow designers to use one or more forms to create their own unique and beautiful play spaces.
Chinatown Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston is home to the company’s first installation of PlayCubes. Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to spend many hours in Boston observing the play on the new PlayCubes as well as Playworld’s PlayForm 7. I was amazed to see people of all ages from toddlers to older children – teens and both young and older adults engaged in play. Research shows that people of all ages aren’t spending enough time active outdoors, which can be critical to living a long and healthy life. The key is to provide creative play sculptures that will attract the widest user group, and both PlayForm 7 and PlayCubes has been shown to do just that. Both sites will be great for upcoming captivating play space case studies!
Everyone is invited to play on the PlayCube that will be installed at the AIA Philadelphia exhibit space from October 3-17. Click here for details. Playworld will present PlayCubes to DesignPhilly and the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia) on Thursday, October 13 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with Dattner.
Photos of our single PlayCube at the Boston Society of Architects/BSA, photo credit: Missy Benson
PlayCubes on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Photo Credit: Jennifer Leckstrom
Play Advocate, ASLA, CPSI