2020 Award Winner
THE DINER PLAY AREA
Driven by design to create a solution specifically for playgrounds, our FORM Fencing system safeguards children within a playground whilst illustrates empathy towards aesthetics and functionality as it delineates the play area from its surrounding environment.
Why did we design a fence?
As do many design studios we take into consideration all the components and factors relating to the delivery of our products and spaces. Whether tangible or not these components create an ecosystem, and when designed holistically result in a higher standard for the user experience.
Often, we see the fencing and barricades for a playground as an afterthought, proprietary options designed for other purposes utilised, and at times finished in primary colours as a callout for a playground. Hence we applied Holistic Design to the challenge.
FORM is our collection of ‘Play-Inspired Furniture’, configurable with one another, the pieces feature customisable attributes enabling our client’s the ability to achieve tailored solutions for their needs. The FORM Fencing system builds on the principle, featuring Gates, Play-Panels, Upholstered Bumpers, as just some of the attachable elements made available.
Scaled-down to suit the proportions of an average 5-year-old, it exudes the childlike playful aesthetic without the use of colour. Softened with soft a cylindrical perch top to enhance its playful nature, this offers parents the functionality for respite whilst acting as a safety bumper for children.
As part of a larger play solution to activate a food-court within one of Victoria's popular Shopping Centres, Eastland, we utilised our FORM Fencing system as a perimeter perch. The outcome complemented both the playground's and foodcourt's overall aesthetic, appearing subtle and part of the overall centre’s design.
Its impact was proven a success, driving more traffic to the area whilst governing the safety of children and enhancing the overall user experience for both the consumers and surrounding tenants. So much so our client utilised our FORM Fencing design within the next development.
The intent with making our fence with a removable cylindrical perch was to allow parents/caretakers the opportunity for short respite however keeping them attentive, on their feet, encouraging interaction and accountability of their children within the space. Available in either an upholstered or rubberised finish, the perch also acts as an impact attenuated bumper, safeguarding children from any impacted injuries.
The fence panels are of metal perforated sheet, allowing for transparency along with structural support to easily fix additional features such as play panels, shoe cubbies, upholstered bumpers, signage and more.
Like the majority of fences, its modular constructions allows for flexibility in its configuration, the addition with our design is its ability to be used in conjunction with other furniture pieces to form either full or semi-enclosed spaces.
With the current global state and restrictions set to lift, we are utilising our FORM Fencing system as part of a post-COVID solution. Supporting the reopening of playgrounds safely, FORM Fence will be configured to promote hygienic practices and assist with social distancing measures. New gates with capacity indicators, hand sanitiser, gloves and sock dispensers along with informational diagrams, to be introduced to keep our love ones safe.
Our form language was to keep to the solution playful, minimal, and complimentary of our playgrounds and today’s commercial interiors. We wanted to create a sense of comfort and safety for families, yet subtle and not intrusive, blending into the environment and empathic to its surroundings and tenants.
We used lower with wider proportions to bring out the playful nature, coupled with and strong curves striving for shadows and silhouettes inspired by the art deco movement with intent to relate to the current commercial interiors and fit outs.
Designed to the Australian Playground Standards, FORM Fencing is a system that enables our client to achieve a customised solution that functions as a compliant outcome that is most importantly safe for children.
Through the process of holistic design have we been able to achieve a solution that functions both for the families using the space and the asset owners maintaining. Elements such as our perch/safety bumper top functions and comfort and elevates safety.
Whereby elements such as the solid kicker strips allow access and ease for commercial floor cleaning machines, along with a termination detail for the playground surfacing on the opposing side.
Safety is an inherent quality within playgrounds, especially within the unsupervised commercial space. As we have taken the holistic approach, we have applied all the relative playground standards we normally would to our Perimeter Perch. Throughout the design and manufacturing processes checkpoints, evaluations and audits are made both internally and external such as computations by an independent engineers and onsite inspections by playground auditors.
Sometimes good design and innovation is when you take the simple things and combine them for a purpose.
FORM Fencing is not something new and unseen, it is our approach to innovatively address a market’s need. It is using the design process to lift the user experience and in this case by making our environments safer.