A travesty? Wheelchair and crutch bound children everywhere, and lawsuits galore? An unappealing jumble of bent nails and ill cut wood? A blight on the neighborhood? Certainly not. Balderdash. No way. Quite the contrary. The Kolle 37 bauspielplatz in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin is a wonderland. A place of imagination and exploration that […]
Come out and play! I regularly use games to accelerate learning, team building, design insights and establish an attitude of relentlessly playful testing, experimentation and failure in a learning or design process. As you can see from the recent posts by two of our #teendesignheroes, Jeisson and Diana, the transformative power of including games in […]
Truscale Blocks with 1 distinct piece, 1948 Artificial stone Elland Company, England  Let’s get one thing straight, despite the manufacturer’s claims that their Truscale Blocks are amusing, interesting, attractive and absolutely bubbling over with unlimited possibilities for building, they are not. For many reasons, Truscale Blocks are truly remarkable but aesthetically and functionally, they […]
Interested in starting your own design firm that does great things for your neighborhood and community as well as fantastic design? We consider it our business to know organizations who are rethinking professional design practice for the greater good, innovation and to better meet the needs of the world around us. Indeed, we spend a […]
Ride a moustache while you wait for your tacos? Okay there are few things more joyfully absurd than this see-saw, err moustache and its accompanying over sized spectacles. In fact, when our friend Lauren mentioned that she had ridden a moustache see-saw while waiting for her tacos at the ever tasty El Chilito in Austin, […]
Sure, it’s a lot of plastic and packing tape can be remarkably expensive but really, how can you not stand in drooling awe when presented with For Use‘s gorgeous packing tape structure/playground? Why the fawning? Well on the most basic level, as previously stated, it’s gorgeous. However we also find it compelling because it is […]
Admittedly, as you may know, I have mixed feelings about playgrounds that are created because we have not designed our streets or public spaces to be inclusive of different age groups and uses. That being said, it is hard not to be charmed and to a degree impressed by the bicycle park in Berlin’s Gorlitzer […]
As you may have noticed recently if you follow our Twitter feed, Public Workshop has been working with the great folks at Landon Bone Baker Architects and their community partners to develop a program that enables them to have an even greater impact in the communities where they work than they are able to affect […]
You may or may not have noticed but our society has developed some pretty definite ideas where things such as play, exercise, industry or even work should happen. For a variety of reasons, over time we’ve built up infrastructures that reinforce where, when and how these things should happen. This has manifested itself in the […]
In this day and age, Google has made satellite imagery of our neighborhoods and important landmarks an everyday reality. It’s such a pervasive part of our existence now, can you remember the day when we didn’t have ready access to such materials? Maybe it’s the lack of coffee, but I can’t. My brain inherently wants […]
‘When it snows, children take over the city: they sleigh, throw snowballs, make snowmen and are more visible than ever. But what a city needs for its children has to be more durable than snow.’ -Aldo Van Eyck A few months ago I wrote about my visit last summer to the rather amazing Kolle 37 […]
On the surface this one seems like a no brainer. When you give a building or a community project an award or some sort of public recognition, invite not only the designer to the stage but also the community partners, the funders, the developer, the builder and maybe even…….the user. Let them talk, thank people […]
The see-saw is probably one of the most vilified pieces of equipment you will find on a playground. When I started writing this piece, my intention was to show some of the many examples I found last summer, while on a fellowship in Germany, of how designers have tried to make the see-saw safer. Anecdotally, […]
Can we empower citizens by making the inordinately complicated rules and processes surrounding such everyday things as housing and street vending visually more clear?
Although Public Workshop may not make it to all of the following conferences, these are certainly events we're keeping our eye on and think you should too.
Many of you may have heard of or seen the jaw dropping French sport, parkours (here). If you saw one of the more recent James Bond films, Casino Royale, then you’re in. All of that amazing, almost too-ridiculous-to-be-possible but true leaping, bounding and clamoring that occurred in the opening scene was parkours. And believe it […]
Of the many wonderful things I have seen thus far in Chicago, one of my favorites is the work that Mejay Gula, Kelly Van Eaton and Charlie Vinz, are doing with Chicago high school students through the After School Matters (here) program. Last fall Mejay and Charlie worked with their students to design and build […]
Project: Bad Design Darts, Step-On Your Neighborhood Pavers And Other Tools For Rethinking Community Engagement Location: New York, NY Project Director: Alex Gilliam for the Hester Street Collaborative Year: 2006-2007 Patience, patience. More information is on the way.
From Public Workshop’s Project Archives: Project: Community Baseball Cards Location:New York, NY Project Director: Alex Gilliam and the Citizen Designer Workshop for the Hester Street Collaborative Year: 2007 Patience, patience. More information is on the way.
You may or may not have noticed, through articles by Public Workshop (here) or via a steady rise in media attention, but playgrounds for the elderly are on the rise. This innovation started in Asia, particularly China, Japan and Singapore but thereafter spread to Spain, Germany and England. Some countries such as Germany are taking […]