Updates from ASLA


Expanding the Cube

PlayCubes® / Playworld

In 1968, Architect Richard Dattner redefined play with his invention PlayCubes®. A response to the rigidity of common play equipment at the time, PlayCubes offered greater flexibility for kids and playground designers alike, growing in popularity throughout the 1970s until they became too expensive and challenging to produce.

Then in 2016, Playworld collaborated with Dattner to reintroduce the product, this time constructed in both plastic and metal options as opposed to the original fiberglass for improved durability and longevity. The updated PlayCubes also feature an increased number of openings, allowing adventurers more opportunities for connection. The versatility of these pieces remains a key point that still draws in both designers and kids, since the simple geometry enables almost any configuration to be formed. The redesign proved successful—in 2020, PlayCubes received the GOOD DESIGN Award; a program that honors the most innovative and highest quality products and graphic designs around the world.

Now, PlayCubes has received yet another update—this time in the form of components! With balls to spin, bristles to brush, a button to press, and more, these components not only encourage kids to take a closer look at their surroundings, but help to make PlayCubes more inclusive for children of all ability levels. Mighty Descent similarly opens up new paths for PlayCubes, as kids can now experience the daring feat of sliding together down its 8’ length after navigating throughout its structure.

Much like the kids who play on them, PlayCubes have experienced a journey of growth throughout the years. For more information about the impact and ingenuity of PlayCubes, visit

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