Aterpeak – Children Playgrounds

Digital, Physical, Social


Date: 2019


Type: Product Design

Aterpeak, meaning “nest” in basque language, is an organisation created by Ilundáin Foundation from Spain. From their wood workshop facilities they create different types of products, such as bird boxes or wooden playgrounds.  The organisation employs young adults from the foundation in order to provide them a a first working experience. With limited resources, they fight hard to keep generating social impact through wooden products.

Town and city halls are more and more aware of the need to keep in touch with natural elements for children on their playgrounds.. Aterpeak contacted bigD to collaborate on rethinking their offer by understanding the market plus re-organizing their product porftolio. We proposed different sets of modular products that can be combined and adapted to any space.

Thank you to for the great image gallery that helped us to illustrate our project.

Back to nature

Plastic made playgrounds are getting old fashioned compared to natural alternatives, the latter can provide many educational values and shape behaviours in a different way.

Nowadays, more and more people are living in big crowded artificial cities, where the need of children to keep in touch with nature through sustainable playgrounds that cambine wooden elements, sand, plants and trees is necessary.

Unestructured Structure

After World War II, the Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck developed hundreds of playgrounds in the city of Amsterdam. Whereas a slide or a swing almost dictates what a child is supposed to do, van Eyck’s play equipment invites the child to actively explore the numerous affordances (action possibilities) it provided. 

From our Design Research we tried to standarize a set of versatile elements for unestructured play, that could be combined and customized by Aterpeak for each project.

The Playscape concept

A Playscape can be considered as a natural playground that, combining nature elements in specific ways, aims to improve cognitive function, increase creativity, improve interaction with adults, reduce attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and reduce rates of aggression.

Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks, pine cones and gum nuts can help to stimulate children’s immune system as well as their imagination.

The wood elements

We proposed to Aterpeak sevel categories of products that combined, can create provide the required elements  for each playscape project and children needs:

– Multifunctional structures

– Climbing elements

– Tunnels and hiding elements

– Gardening boxes

– Sliders

This provided diferent types of play such as imaginative, physical, quiet, social, exploratoy…

Designing the offer

Playscapes provide many advantages but in exchange, they are more demanding for Aterpeak clients.

Therefore, we proposed to them to include certain services and capabilities into their structure in order to reduce client’s pains and barriers.

Many of this actions where already offered by Aterpeak in collaboration with Ilundain Foundation, but probably not transmitted in the right way.

Three main blocks of services can help Aterpeak to be competitive and different in this segment:

– Full installation of the elements and the natural elements (plants, water, sand…)

Maintenaince related to wood and degradation of natural elements

Educational service to complete the experience