7. Future Playgrounds: Experiential Learning in Mediated Spaces


Filippo Lodi – UNStudio, Netherlands
Wael Batal – UNStudio, Netherlands


Today the world is captivated by a phenomenon that provides an overarching ‘top-down’ approach to urban design: the ‘smart’ city. UNStudio aims to explore an alternative to this through a ‘bottom-up’ strategy that focuses on the production of social cohesion in small pockets of public space within the city.  As such public spaces, playgrounds are of particular interest as they encourage the development of a creative spirit and imagination through experiential learning in a social environment.  However, conditions have changed which require that we consider the playground type anew.

Technological innovations of the past decade have rendered physical space and digital space as increasingly blurred. Public and private space is no longer easily defined only by physical enclosure.  If you have a phone, you are in a form of public space. Still, there are more people playing video games in an isolated space than ever before.

Within this context, our workshop will aim to disrupt the conventional concepts of playgrounds and produce prototypes of models for future playgrounds as hybrid conditions between video games and physical space.  We will learn to make simple games that can create social play environments, facilitate social cohesion and connectivity between users across the scale of the playground, the neighbourhood and the city.

Our workshop is designed for those interested on exploring how the application of technologies can improve outdated playground environments. The participants should be willing to join an interactive and inspiring experience that can help them expand their comfort zone and toolkits for innovative designs. We invite participants with diversity in experience, opinions and interests in order to best expose each other to alternative perspectives and new thinking.