PLAY Book for SingaPlural
Creating a portable life-sized play book for imaginative play
Pinch Design created a life-sized pop-up “play book” at SingaPlural, the anchor event of the Singapore Design Week. With “A State in Play” set as the event’s theme, we embarked on a unique journey combining play and design to whet children’s imaginative appetites.
The concept of a “play book” came to mind as we saw the opportunity to expose young children to a unique platform for imaginative play. Preliminary research led us to find that in their early development stages, children are dependent on play especially through senses and actions (ie, observing, touching and doing). Hence, imaginative hands-on play is critical for learning, exploring and cultivating independence. To find out more, we conducted interviews with parents of children aged three and above on the possible gaps in learning through play which affects children today. When it came to toys, the top two concerns that parents had were the lack of space in their homes, and the issue of safety.
For a pretend play environment that is both easy to set up and store away, we focused on using materials that are safe, lightweight and collapsible.
Hence, our “play book” underwent several design iterations and mock-ups before being implemented and produced. Small-scale prototypes were created to test both usability and feasibility of the design, and highlight potential aesthetic and technical flaws.
The final product was a self-standing 3D corrugated cardboard “play book”. Measuring a collapsed size of 1,100mm (H) X 800mm (W), the life-sized “play book” opened up to four adjoining zig-zagged panels with vibrant designs on each side. Inspired by the pop-up concept commonly used in children’s books, real life objects were replicated to create the perfect setting for pretend play. These included a door, a window, and a kitchenette complete with shelving and a washing machine, among others. Children were encouraged to bring along their own collection of toys to complement their play book experience and add a personal tactile feel to the play context.
The opportunity to exhibit PLAY Book at SingaPlural allowed us to conduct user testing and collate feedback from our target audience. The valuable insights gained will help us to further improve on the final product to create an even safer and more engaging play environment for our young ones.