Design & Play Book Kickstarter Campaign Launches May 31st

Design & Play Book Kickstarter Campaign Launches May 31st Blog  Design Museum Portland

Boston, MA, May 31, 2017 – Design Museum Foundation is excited to announce an upcoming Kickstarter campaign to support Design & Play, a book about design and the importance of outdoor play featuring the amazing content from our Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition.

After 3 years of research, and installations in Boston and Portland, the exhibition is now on-view at the San Francisco Public Library — complete with playscape design case studies from around the world, the history of outdoor playground design, the science of play, and more. Thousands have enjoyed the exhibit, and the number one question we hear is, “Is there a book?”

We’ve been quietly working on Design & Play as a print resource to inspire the next generation of outdoor play environments. And now we need your help!



Our 30-day Kickstarter campaign launches on May 31 at midnight. We hope the book inspires kids, parents, designers, civic leaders, and more to think differently about outdoor playscapes. Our goal is to get this book to every school, library and city hall so that it can help inspire the next generation of extraordinary playscapes.

There is perhaps nothing more creative than children at play. For kids, creativity, ideation, and design are as natural as walking and talking. Kids need access to well designed places for their imagination to thrive. This book features 40 amazing outdoor play environments from across the globe with full-color photos, images of the design process like sketches, renderings, and site plans, as well as the stories behind what makes them unique places for kids and adults to play.

“When you look at the past 20 years, kids are playing outside about half as much as they used to 1 in 3 American children is considered overweight or obese, and only 1 in 4 kids get the recommended 60 minutes of outdoor play time. We’re a design museum — so we created a world-class exhibition about design and the importance of outdoor play.” says Sam Aquillano, Executive Director of Design Museum Foundation and author of the book.

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Design & Play Book Kickstarter Campaign Launches May 31st

The exhibition launched in Boston in May 2016 and features case studies of playscapes from around the world. The exhibition also features research on the science of play which we organized into 4 parts our physical, mental, social, and creative health. There is also a historic timeline that takes our visitors on a 200-year journey. Since then the exhibit has traveled to Portland, OR and is currently on view in San Francisco CA.

Design & Play will feature all the amazing content from our exhibition as well as essays from leading play experts about their research and work in the field. Please help Design Museum Foundation bring this incredible resource to every school, library and city hall in the country to help inspire everyone to think differently about the importance of outdoor playscapes.

“I’ve never seen such an amazing collection of playspaces from around the world in one inspiring place. There is an international interest in designing children’s play environments. I learned a lot walking through the show, it’s truly an incredible exhibit on the design for play going on around the world.” — Richard Dattner, Architect

The Design & Play Kickstarter campaign will launch at midnight on May 31st through midnight on June 30th, 2017 with the goal of raising $30,000.00.


About Extraordinary Playscapes:

In 2015 The Design Museum Foundation began researching, exploring, and documenting different playgrounds around the world from concept to execution and their impact on play and childhood development. The research and design of interactive play elements were brought together in the debut of Extraordinary Playscapes. How the children play and interact with these structures is just as meaningful as their access to free outdoor playtime. The exhibit, a collection of drawings, videos, scale models, and playable installations, debuted in Boston and has since traveled to Portland, Oregon and is currently on display in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit:


About The Design Museum Foundation:

The Design Museum Foundation is centered on the belief that design can change the world.

Design Museum Foundation is redefining what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — the museum is online, nomadic, and accessible to all through a network of exhibitions, events, and content. The museum’s mission is to bring the transformative power of design everywhere, to inspire a world full of creative problem solvers. Design is everywhere. So are we.

We currently manage branches in Boston, MA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. Please visit to learn more about our programming or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @DesignMuseumPDX



Images and text courtesy Design Museum Foundation.

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