Platforms for Homo Ludens

Platforms for Homo Ludens is a hands-on Research Lab exploring ideas of playgrounds for all ages. The work done during the Research Lab has the aim of freeing the concept of playground from fenced enclaves only reserved for children, and aims to bring back the idea of playfulness to the realm of the city.

Research Labs are offered within the Individual Study Track (IST) , part of the bachelor programmes' curriculum at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK).

The design of playgrounds and public space has always been the focus of cross-disciplinary efforts: artists, graphic designers, architects, product designers, textile designers. The approach of the Lab benefits both students that already have experience with architectural / spatial-issues, and students that have other backgrounds. Students worked on a series of performative, expressive, tactile, colorful play structures.

A crucial aspect of the Research Lab is to work with materials and develop 1:1 fragments or prototypes, both using the different labs of the Academy and through collaboration with professional manufactories, as for example the high-end concrete manufactory Tomaello.

During the last semester students realized 1:1 playful structures in the labs of the academy and in collaboration with manufacturers. They got to know the forms and tradition of play equipment whose materiality allows for a contextual overlap and integration with the city (amongst others by Aldo van Eyck, Isamu Noguchi, Pierre Szekely, Post-war British playgrounds).

Building upon these these examples students made proposals for urban spaces and elements (sidewalks, fences, poles and columns, fountains, stairs, benches and other urban furniture) as potential playful structures, which stimulate imagination and creativity among citizens of all ages. In the Research Lab, these festive elements were conceived as structures able to establish new rules, rhythms and possibilities for action and interactions. The result is exhibited in the Bleijenburg courtyard at the KABK.

In collaboration with the Interior Architecture & Furniture Design progrmme at the KABK and TOMAELLO concrete.

Platforms for the Homo Ludens – KABK Research Lab 2018-2019 (sem 2)

Alessandra Covini together with Francesco Apostoli were invited to set up a new KABK Research Lab for the second semester of study year 2018-2019 at the KABK. Their Research Lab, entitled Platforms for the Homo Ludens, introduces participants to historical examples of playgrounds and their contexts, shapes and traditions in order to inspire students to come up with new ways of bringing playfulness back to the city, for citizens of all ages. During this course, students develop 1:1 prototypes and at the final presentation of the Research Lab the objects will be available to be tested by the audience.



15 juni 2019 13.00 - 22 juni 2019 17.00


Bleijenburg courtyard