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AZ Awards 2021 • Concepts
The finalists
Concepts ◆ Ideas and Prototypes
Are
Finalist
Project
Grayson Play-Lab
Location
Radnor, U.S.
Firm
Matter Design, U.S.
Summary
What should open-ended play look like? The Grayson Play-Lab by Matter Design offers a bold answer. Conceived for adolescents past monkey-bar age, and premised on the value of learning through fun, the project resembles a fantastical, kid-friendly Stonehenge. Its colossal creatures — a set of concrete characters arranged in cosmic alignment on an open landscape — make up the main structures. These megalithic objects feature details through which students can employ a series of wooden instruments called “glyphs,” custom elements that allow kids to interact with the sturdy sculptures in a variety of ways.
Finalist
Project
Smart-Box
Designers
Ren Peng with Shenzhen Explore Home Industrial Design, China
Summary
Combining classic building blocks with cutting-edge digital tech, these educational toys encourage kids to hone their logic skills in a fun, interactive way. Smart-Box’s white and pastel orange blocks — printed with simple numerals and math operations, respectively — might not look all that different from traditional kindergarten fare. But the set’s futuristic dark orange modules come fully equipped with a digital display, speaker and near-field communication sensor, enabling them to announce the solution to math equations arranged with any preceding blocks. In other words, one plus one equals 21st-century playtime.
And
Concepts ◆ Ideas and Prototypes
The Winner
+ The Peoples Choice
Is
Project
Grayson Play-Lab
Location
Radnor, U.S.
Firm
Matter Design, U.S.
Brandon Clifford: 2021 AZ Award Winner in Ideas & Prototypes
Presented By: Keilhauer

What should open-ended play look like? The Grayson Play-Lab by Matter Design offers a bold answer. Conceived for adolescents past monkey-bar age, and premised on the value of learning through fun, the project resembles a fantastical, kid-friendly Stonehenge.

Its colossal creatures — a set of concrete characters arranged in cosmic alignment on an open landscape — make up the main structures. These megalithic objects feature details through which students can employ a series of wooden instruments called “glyphs,” custom elements that allow kids to interact with the sturdy sculptures in a variety of ways. 

“The radical, innovative part of this concept is that it empowers children to use their creativity to influence their own environment.”
Ini Archibong, AZ Awards 2021 Juror
(more…)
View the full project