Playworld® Receives The prestigious GOOD DESIGN Award Lewisburg, PA - The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design has awarded Playworld with the GOOD DESIGN Award for PlayCubes. GOOD DESIGN remains the oldest and most recognized program for design excellence worldwide.

Playworld, a leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer, demonstrated a shift in playground design with PlayCubes — play equipment originally introduced by Architect Richard Dattner five decades ago, and reintroduced by Playworld. Redesigned from Dattner’s original concept, PlayCubes now provide even more physical, social and cognitive play value and engagement. The modular design and distinctive geometric shapes encourage exploration, child-directed and open-ended play. Kids can climb into the cubes from various angles, experience them at different levels and explore new ways to be active and play.

PlayCubes were originally designed and patented by Dattner in 1969. His interest was sparked at MIT by the work of Buckminster Fuller, who was exploring polyhedra as an efficient and universal building block. These solid forms — pyramids, cubes, and tetrahedrons — were discovered by Archimedes around 230 BC, and more recently found to be the basis for the organization of atoms and much of our natural environment. The stacking qualities of polyhedra allow them to expand infinitely in space with a minimum of material. This inspiration led to Richard’s creation of PlayCubes—14-sided cuboctahedrons with openings on their faces to allow kids inside. “It’s an incredible shape. It does almost anything,” said Richard Dattner, FAIA, commenting on the cuboctahedron.

Contemporary PlayCubes are available via Playworld in both plastic and perforated metal and can be combined in limitless numbers. PlayCubes have been installed in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia—now providing play for thousands around the world. The revised PlayCubes, developed in collaboration with Dattner, JT Foster, engineer, and Craig Mellott, designer for Playworld, reflect many of the current advances in CAD, 3-D prototyping and robotic manufacturing.

“Playworld is delighted to be awarded the GOOD DESIGN Award for PlayCubes and to partner with Richard Dattner on reviving his original PlayCubes,” said Missy Benson, Inclusive Play Manager for Playworld, a division of PlayPower. “The iconic sculptural play forms enhance any outdoor space and provide a play environment that is unique and supportive to child development. The structures encourage positive, open-ended, child-directed play, and we are absolutely thrilled to help bring our award winning PlayCubes to children and communities everywhere,” said Benson.

The GOOD DESIGN program emphasizes quality design of the highest form, function and aesthetics. Founded in Chicago in 1950 by the former MoMA curator Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., together with such pioneers in modern design as Charles and Ray Eames, Russel Wright, George Nelson and Eero Saarinen, GOOD DESIGN honors the achievements of the best industrial and graphic designers and world manufacturers for their pursuit of extraordinary design excellence. Every year, designers and manufacturers from approximately 50 nations are honored for their singular achievements in producing hallmarks of contemporary design.

All award-winning products are published in the 2019-2020 GOOD DESIGN Yearbook.

About Playworld

Playworld is a division of PlayPower®, Inc. Playworld believes The World Needs Play®. Play is vital to everyone’s health and well-being. It’s something you are never too young or too old to enjoy. We develop playground environments where creativity is king, belly laughs are welcome and children make the rules. Playworld’s equipment is designed to unleash the transformational power of play so bodies grow stronger, children play safely and imagination can take flight. For nearly 50 years, Playworld has created innovative, inclusive and meaningful outdoor play experiences for all ages and abilities. For more information visit