AI8_6_2018_2_27_54_PM_Gudgudee_mainimage.jpg
Ring a Bell

Gudgudee uses sound innovatively in its play designs.

Picking Right

The team picks local and affordable materials that can easily be replaced in case of repairs.

Play for All

The team currently works with children and adults of different abilities.

Out and About

Encouraging children to be outdoors is one of the main aims of Gudgudee.

Free to Learn

Gudgudee allows ample space for children to explore and use their imaginations.

A Call Away

Game based on ‘cup and rope telephones’ designed by the studio is a hit with children.

All Mixed Up

The team’s portfolio includes different kinds of projects.

Cool Colours

It’s easy to add bright colours in play areas, but Gudgudee picks a more sober palate to relax children.

Life in Technicolour

The use of tinted material helps children experience light in different ways.

Bringing Down the Walls

Gudgudee’s interactive walls let children walk along it, climb on it, crawl through and also jump over it.

AI8_6_2018_2_27_54_PM_Gudgudee_mainimage.jpg
Showcase 24 Aug 2018

Fair Play: With its out-of-the-box designs, Gudgudee is redefining what play spaces must look like

Gudgudee is one of India’s first design studios that focusses on creating play areas. It reimagines the simple joys of play to create play spaces you can touch, smell and hear.

A little boy can run his fingers through the different textures of a wall and smile at his discovery or a little girl can hear the rattle of bamboo chimes and know that it’s playtime! For designers Anjali Menon and Aditi Agrawal, play can be a journey that brings different senses to life. 

As furniture design students at NID, the duo had volunteered at a blind school, and this set the course of their work. They soon discovered that play for special-needs students was limited to indoor activities. A year after they graduated, Gudgudee was born to create innovative and inclusive play spaces for children.

Today, Gudgudee’s portfolio of 30-odd completed and ongoing projects across 9 cities is an eclectic mix that includes projects for children of all abilities and for adults. Since each project is different, the team spends a lot of time understanding the needs of their clients.

Ring a Bell

Gudgudee uses sound innovatively in its play designs.

Picking Right

The team picks local and affordable materials that can easily be replaced in case of repairs.

Free to Learn

Gudgudee allows ample space for children to explore and use their imaginations.

Gudgudee’s portfolio of 30-odd completed and ongoing projects across 9 cities is an eclectic mix.

Redefining Play

Agrawal recounts their work at a school for special children in Mumbai. The team sat through classes with children and spoke to teachers and occupational therapists. They realised that many of the regular activities were sensory. So play that stimulated motor and tactile skills in the children, was key. 

A textured, curved brick wall was one of main elements created – children could feel the textures of the interactive wall with mosaics, paintings and other objects, as well as play a game of matching a wooden peg to a hole, stimulating their cognitive and sensory skills.

Play for All

The team currently works with children and adults of different abilities.

Bringing Down the Walls

Gudgudee’s interactive walls let children walk along it, climb on it, crawl through and also jump over it.

“The scale of the wall is such that children can walk along it, climb on it, crawl through and also jump over the wall. The intention was to create something that children with different abilities can explore in their unique way.”, she explains.

More recently, for an NGO that encourages scientific curiosity, Gudgudee designed an entire play area based on animal cell and DNA. How protein is made in an animal cell is gamified on the playground. For another project, a set of playcards was created to encourage design thinking in students from government schools in Bangalore. Other projects include designing outdoor furniture and play areas in real estate projects.

For an NGO that encourages scientific curiosity, Gudgudee designed an entire play area based on animal cell and DNA.

Playing Out-of-the-Box

The team steers clear of conventional elements wherever possible. Among its most popular elements is the interactive tactile wall. Another hit among tiny tots is the telephone pipes based on the ‘string and cup telephones’ concept. The pipes are half concealed under the ground and children have fun exploring where the sounds will be heard. Other popular play elements are xylophones, bells and elements that stimulate through sound. Plants are often used in the play area to add scent to tickle the olfactory senses.

A Call Away

Game based on ‘cup and rope telephones’ designed by the studio is a hit with children.

Out and About

Encouraging children to be outdoors is one of the main aims of Gudgudee.

When the team uses predictable elements such as slides or swings, it tries to reinvent them. “We remain as abstract as possible. Even if we use animal shapes, we don’t define everything, leaving room for imagination. We do not overdo bright colours, something used thoughtlessly in designing play areas,” says Agrawal.

The team designs to stimulate children physically as well as cognitively, this means steering clear of conventional play elements wherever possible.

Elements and Materials 

The team extensively uses locally-available materials such as metal, wood, brick and mortar, and fabric in its work. Sourcing locally even applies to its landscapes. “Our landscape architect picks native species of plants that require less watering and care,” says Agrawal.

All Mixed Up

The team’s portfolio includes different kinds of projects.

Cool Colours

It’s easy to add bright colours in play areas, but Gudgudee picks a more sober palate to relax children.

Life in Technicolour

The use of tinted material helps children experience light in different ways.

Collaborating and Creating

The all-women Gudgudee team brings expertise from different fields to the table – founders, Anjali Menon and Aditi Agrawal have a background in furniture design, and other team members include a product designer, a landscape architect and a colour specialist.

Rethinking play means bringing in as many different perspectives as possible. The team regularly collaborates with relevant consultants and has worked with scientists, researchers, occupational therapists, artists and architects among others. 

Learn more about Gudgudee’s approach to play, here.