The Play it Safe Kit ... Because Following The Rules Can Still Be Fun—Kounkuey Design Initiative

The “Play It Safe Kit” imagines the future of neighborhood-based public space. Designed to facilitate community gathering even in the midst of social distancing protocols, the Kit emerged from the conviction that social infrastructure is essential for public health. A collection of modular furnishings, the Kit transforms city streets into vibrant public space, reinforcing safe physical distancing, supporting service delivery, and bringing an uplifting element to otherwise quiet streets.

The design allows for maximum adaptability for different configurations. The key feature of the Kit is the “Wobble” – a rotational molded plastic play element that connects on four of its six sides to create an array of different possible uses.

This series of images explores how the Kit can be utilized to meet immediate practical needs such as services and essential supply delivery. Sidewalk extensions promote pedestrian movement, spatial markers promote safe physical distancing, and parklets integrate mobile resources. Play elements enhance the pedestrian and community experience, while also minimizing long-term health risks resulting from social and physical isolation.

The Kit provides a way to consider the future of public space at the level of a single block, instead of centralized locations—grocery stores and city parks, for example—where disease transmission is high. We envision a future where all city residents have access to critical services and safe public spaces. By bringing resources directly to residents, the Kit addresses inequalities encountered by food deserts and park-poor neighborhoods, which have been harder hit by this current pandemic.