Design Impact Honors on Design & Play

March 31, 2016 | | View Comments

To celebrate the upcoming opening of Extraordinary Playscapes, Design Museum Foundation and Sasaki hosted an evening reception. Designers, contributors, and Design Museum friends gathered at Sasaki’s headquarters to enjoy an evening of conversation and to unpack an enduring theme that has preoccupied the museum in the last year – design and play.

The event provided an opportunity to pour into our Impact Areas strategy – focusing our work on showcasing and highlighting the areas where design plays a pivotal role in achieving impact. Our Executive Director Sam Aquillano provided an introduction to the inspiration for the museum’s focus on design and play, and Program Coordinator Amanda Hawkins went into detail on Extraordinary Playscapes, a major, nationally-traveling exhibition on the importance of play and how designers translate play objectives into innovative, extraordinary, outdoor play environments. Additionally, she detailed the exhibition’s emphasis to explore the science of play and the importance of outdoor play in developing creative problem-solving skills.

We honored two individuals who have prompted debate, analysis, and inspiration around design and play through their respective work. Katarzyna (Kate) Balug, the co-founder of the Department of Play – was a recipient of this honor for her work in developing a Boston-based collective that creates temporary play zones in public spaces for people to step out of the everyday and play out imagined worlds. Mitch Ryerson, an artist, designer, and craftsman specializing in wood structures and furniture garnered this honor for his many commissions and designs for Greater Boston parks and schools that are enjoyed by thousands of children and adults each year.

The end of the evening saw fond farewells and excitement generated to discuss all that we as designers and community members can do to offer an enviable quality of life through better design for more creative play. Don’t miss the grand opening of Extraordinary Playscapes, June 8, 6 PM at the BSA Space on 290 Congress Street. And please consider making a contribution to Design Museum Foundation so we can produce more groundbreaking exhibitions and programs for years to come.