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Team info

Naomi Swagten

The challenge

Do you remember the time you spent years ago at the playground? The playground equipment that you played with was designed by adults. Adults, who thought they knew what you should play with. While adults have good intentions for the child, they are biased by their adult-perspective (Petre, 1992).

The solution

By empowering children in the design process, I hope to give children the chance to design playground equipment which fulfils their needs. Children do not only find it fun to participate in such a project, but it might also contribute to the development of the child. I designed Kubu to take children on a journey of designing playground equipment. Kubu is cubic playground equipment, designed by and for children. Kubu can be bought as a school kit, for educational purposes. The designed lesson introduces children to 21st century skills; Children learn to cooperate by designing the appearance of the playground equipment together, using the provided stencils. They are all responsible for the final design, and are challenged to negotiate, divide tasks, listen to ideas of others, and make decisions. The school kit stimulates the use of creativity in forming a final design. The designed panels are send digitally to the factory and laser cut out of recycled or sustainable material. The school might decide to explain the used material and the production of the panels, by showing an informational video. Then, when the panels are made, they are transported to the school to be used by the children. The panels are modular, allowing children to reassemble the panels while playing. The design is flexible, and can be used for multiple purposes. Children can collectively create the shape of the playground equipment in order to fit their current playing wishes. Kubu aims to empower children in creating their own playing opportunities.


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