Grayson Play-Lab by Matter Design

A model for integrating play into secondary education

Project Specs

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Appreciation towards Matter Design for providing the following description:

作为人才培养和创新教育实践的领跑者,Grayson学校与设计公司Matter Design共同提出了一项新的构思,旨在为学校的高年级学生及教师打造一个能够激发想象力的游戏空间。通过与CEMEX全球研发部门的合作,一个由混凝土装置构成的项目“Grayson游戏实验室”被营造出来。

As leaders in innovative educational practices for gifted students, The Grayson School challenged Matter Design to provide a play space for their upper grade students and teachers that would ignite an age-appropriate version of imaginative learning. In partnership with CEMEX Global R&D, Matter Design created an otherworldly collection of curious concrete characters situated in a landscape.

▼“Grayson游戏实验室”,Grayson Play-Lab ©Brandon Clifford

Grayson游戏实验室提供了一种寓教于乐的模型,并与Grayson学校的定制学习课程相结合。在一个开放的环境中,一系列造型奇特的混凝土装置共同构成了一个异想中的世界。不同于一般的游戏结构,这些装置的形式、颜色和材料均未形成固定的状态,而是可以借助一系列锚点和绳索部件来进行灵活的扩展,帮助进行测量、物理实验、锚点游戏或用于三角方程式的求证等等。

这些细节兼顾了实用性和能够激发探索的神秘感,它们既是相互关联的,又是与周围环境乃至宇宙彼此呼应的。在游戏的过程中,学生们将克服各种挑战,自己去发现设计策略背后的含义,去计算他们的坐标位置,以及去理解设计如何服务于创新而又严谨的教育。

▼造型奇特的装置可以借助一系列锚点和绳索部件来进行灵活的扩展,a series of details provide anchors to tie rope off to, or receive standard dimensional lumber ©Ally O’Rourke-Barrett (top left) + Brandon Clifford

The play-lab is a scaffold to fuel the imagination of the project-based learning curriculum at The Grayson School. An otherworldly collection of curious concrete characters is situated in an open landscape. These colossal creatures are unlike other play-structures. The recognizable colors, textures, and materials of common play-structures have grown up. A series of details provide anchors to tie rope off to, or receive standard dimensional lumber. They are engineered to accept the maximum load the students can throw at them, while also flexible enough to allow the students and teachers to fabricate their own extensions — to take measurements, conduct physics experiments, anchor a game, or confirm a trigonometry equation.

These details are practical as much as they are cryptic, with alignments to themselves as well as the cosmos. These alignments are developed in concert with the curriculum of the school. Over the course of their education, students are challenged to discover the meaning behind these design decisions, to calculate their coordinates, and understand the logics of how high-design can influence their whimsical but rigorous education.

▼一系列造型奇特的混凝土装置共同构成了一个异想中的世界,an otherworldly collection of curious concrete characters is situated in an open landscape ©Brandon Clifford

为了进一步激发学生们的创造力,设计团队还特开发了一套名为“glyphs”的木制部件,作为游戏实验室的入门套装。这些部件像字体库中的字符一样,每一个都是独一无二的,但都有着类似的属性。这些五颜六色的工具部件有着不同的尺寸和形状,暗示了它们自身的功能,但并没有做出明确的规定,为的是以一种具体性和抽象性兼备的方式去激发一种认知和构建世界的新方式。“glyphs”套件将作为一个系统,随着学生们对自身语言的发展而慢慢扩大。

▼“glyphs”木制套件组,‘glyphs’ wooden instruments ©Brandon Clifford

To spark agency for the students, a family of wooden instruments, called ‘glyphs’, serve as a starter kit to bring the play-lab to life. Reminiscent of a type-set, each is unique, but share properties with their neighbors. These colorful tools have dimensions and forms that suggest a usefulness without overtly prescribing singular functions. This blending of utilitarian and ceremonial pressures is crafted to inspire a state of world-building. As a system, the glyphs are designed to be expanded as the students develop their own language.

▼“glyphs”套件将作为一个系统,随着学生们对自身语言的发展而慢慢扩大,as a system, the glyphs are designed to be expanded as the students develop their own language ©Ally O’Rourke-Barrett

▼平面图,plan ©Matter Design

▼立面图,elevation ©Matter Design

▼立面图,elevation ©Matter Design

Project Partners:
Matter Design
The Grayson School
CEMEX Global R&D

Details:
year: 2020
size: 62ft x 40ft x 16ft
location: Radnor Pennsylvania
site: The Grayson School
material: Concrete, Wood, Rope, & Hardware
on site construction: Zach McWilliams, 8 Chestnut principals: Brandon Clifford & Johanna Lobdell project leads: Emily Whitbeck, Kevin Marblestone, Matthew John Meyers, & Tyler Swingle
project team: Gil Sunshine \ Marianna Gonzalez-Cervantes
acknowledgements: Funding provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CEMEX Global R&D, The Grayson School, and Matter Design.

Image courtesy of Matter Design
Photographers: Ally O’Rourke-Barrett; Brandon Clifford

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