PlayCubes Installation at Chinatown Park

Start Date

May 20, 2016

End Date

May 1, 2030


After a summer highlighting play all around Greater Boston through our Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition, we’re thrilled to see the program’s lasting impact on play within our local community.

Design Museum Foundation is pleased and excited to announce that PlayCubes —  a temporary play installation brought to Boston through our Extraordinary Playscapes summer program — now has a permanent home in Boston’s Chinatown Park.

Thanks to our generous partners at Playworld, a leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer committed to saving outdoor unstructured play, we were able to bring two new play opportunities to Boston this summer. With support from The Greenway Conservancy, PlayCubes were originally installed at Chinatown Park in May 2016 as a temporary 5-month installation.

PlayCubes, originally introduced in the 1960’s by architect Richard Dattner, are designed to resist literal interpretation, leaving the play experience up to the child’s creativity and imagination. The modular units, or “dodecahedrons,” can be arranged in varying ways to provide unique play experiences in any space. Photo Courtesy of Playworld.

After rave reviews and public support surrounding the installation, The Greenway Conservancy sponsored a thorough public process to gauge local interest in the PlayCubes remaining at Chinatown Park. The Conservancy designed a bilingual survey that was shared in both the Chinatown and Leather District neighborhoods with nearly two dozen community groups, media outlets, and civic leaders. Over 93% of survey respondents indicated a desire for the PlayCubes to remain on The Greenway in Chinatown Park beyond their slated October 2016 removal.

The Greenway will now be home to Playworld’s first installation of PlayCubes, equipment recently reintroduced by Playworld through an exclusive partnership between Richard Dattner and the company. Redesigned from Dattner’s original concept, PlayCubes now provide even more physical, social and cognitive play value and engagement. In early November, the PlayCubes will be reconfigured to maximize space for other uses of the Chinatown Park plaza.


Playworld’s donation will remain for multiple additional years, 365 days per year, to offer children and families yet another reason to visit the southernmost area of the 1.5-mile park.

“The PlayCubes installation demonstrates the power of design to transform communities through creativity and innovation,” said Sam Aquillano, Executive Director of Design Museum Foundation. “I’m so excited they’ll be a permanent addition to Chinatown Park!”

The continued availability of the PlayCubes on The Greenway follows a season which saw the launch of both The Greenway’s Play program and Design Museum Foundation’s continuing educational efforts surrounding all things play!

Extraordinary Playscapes brought another amazing play element — Playworld’s PlayForm 7 — to City Hall Plaza over the summer of 2016. This playscape was donated to an underserved community in Roslindale, MA.

For more information about Play on The Greenway, visit 
For more information on PlayCubes and Playworld, visit