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Team members

Melvin Wong Weijie (ASD), Jonathan Chan Fan Keng (ASD), Ng Yun Shu (ASD), Nurul Nazeera Binte Yazid (ASD), Jacob Wijaya (ISTD), Nan Shing Kham Shing (ISTD)


Bige Tunçer, Matthieu De Mari

Writing Instructors:

Rashmi Kumar

Teaching Assistant:

Ataman Cem

Project Description

PlayCubes is a modular pop-up playground that allows for mobility and scalability. By integrating digital components, PlayCubes caters to both the physical and digital needs of the children today.

Introducing PlayCubes!

(Free Play)grounds

In a technologically driven era, we assumed children to be disinterested in only physical playgrounds. To investigate, we visited 2 playgrounds - a conventional playground and a digitally-driven ‘playground’ - to observe how children play in these contrasting spaces. Marine Cove Playground was our first followed by the Art Science Museum: Future Worlds. Three observational methods were used in our time there.

  1. 1. Gate Method - To tally the number of users at a specific location or element.
  2. 2. People Following - To understand the movement dispersion from a specific ‘movement distributor’.
  3. 3. Static Snapshot - To understand the use pattern of spaces within a short time frame.

From the data collected, we found that conventional playgrounds are still able to strongly engage children’s interests and provide a space for free play, an essential platform for developing their imagination. On the other hand, digital technology provides an elevated play experience for children when integrated with physical activities.

With that, PlayCubes aims to enhance the overall experience of free play for children through the incorporation of traditional elements of physical playgrounds and digital elements. 

From Concept to Reality

The initial cubic form of PlayCubes allows for easy modularity and mobility. This single cube of five shapes is boring and does not scream fun. However, when pulled and pushed apart, these shapes form interesting play spaces above and below, providing more opportunities for play. Digital elements are also integrated into this playground for an enhanced play experience.

Features of PlayCube

1. The Individual Elements

2. Interchangeable Panels

With adjustable clamps, the panels can be easily interchanged and switched up to allow for more variety of play!

3. Stackability

With our male and female joint system, we are able to stack the playground modules vertically into a larger playground that can cater to larger audiences and older age groups.


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4. Mobility

Our 2m x 2m cube allows for easy transportation by fitting into standard shipping containers. 

1 Container = 5 PlayCubes

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Digital Feature: Digital Rock Wall

Digital Feature: Music Wall

Bringing PlayCubes to Life!

For PlayCubes to come to fruition, we had to look deeper into the design of each aspect of the design.

Multiple rounds of prototyping were carried out to test different objectives.

1:1 FINAL PROTOTYPE - test feasibility of fabrication and materiality

In the final prototype, we looked at producing the actual product as closely as intended within the budget and time contraints.

1:1 CARDBOARD PROTOTYPE - test measurements and proportions

The cardboard prototype allowed us to get a better understanding of the real life sizing and further explore what each space could be used for.

1:10 SCALED MODEL - test assembly method

Used as a concept model due to its small scale, it gave us insights on how to best assemble the actual PlayCube from the fabrication of this model.

User Testing

We divided our user testing into 3 segments.

  1. 1. Digital testing - To test the concept of free play through lights and sound, game aspects and user feedback using the digital rock wall and music wall
  2. 2. Physical testing - To test the usability and playability of the spaces created using the cardboard model
  3. 3. Questionnaire - To find out the children’s opinion on the playground while supplementing them with a 360 render of the playground for a more immersive experience

The children’s response to PlayCubes was hugely positive during the user testing. All of them were enthusiastic throughout. Without much prompting, the children naturally and intuitively played with the prototypes. The dwell time of the prototypes were also good, in which the children played for approximately 30 minutes without getting distracted.

Understanding that the results gathered is not fully representative of the entire demographic due to COVID-19 restrictions, it does give us a sense of the children’s response to the playground, and the potential success of PlayCubes.


Day Time

Night Time

Single Unit


Stacked Double Units


Front View

Top View

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Thank you for following us on this journey!

For the last time, we are PlayPals: 6 pals, fully invested in play.


student Melvin Wong Weijie Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Jonathan Chan Fan Keng Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Ng Yun Shu Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Nurul Nazeera Binte Yazid Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Jacob Wijaya Information Systems Technology and Design
student Nan Shing Kham Shing Information Systems Technology and Design
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