People, though all the same as human beings, are in fact unique and quite diverse. The equipment that entertains us and makes us feel happy does not necessarily produce the same effect on our next door neighbour, or at all times in our lives. We have all experienced, at some point, a reduction in our functional capacity, more or less strikingly, for a short time or with no return, due to tiredness, illness, accident, pregnancy or the consequence of the inevitable aging. And certainly the impact of these limitations has not gone unnoticed, whether in locomotion, sight, hearing, lack of strength, balance or simple energy breakdown.

The truth is that nothing fits in an exemplary way for all of us, much less all along our lives while growing up and aging. However, designers tend to develop their products and spaces based on a concept of normalized (or average) type of man, which actually does not exist. So how can we design an inclusive playground and play space, taking into account so many different realities and expectations, for ever-changing ones?

For many, the inclusive design in playgrounds is matched and physically expressed in equipment specifically designed for people with disabilities. How many parks have been called Inclusive after the installation of a wheelchair accessible swing or carousel?

This approach is not inclusive at all, it is stigmatizing and promotes exclusion. In addition, these products tend to be closer to the hospital design, with very unattractive aesthetics. Good practices in inclusive design aim precisely to eliminate discrimination by promoting respect, normalization and acceptance of difference. They should not only eliminate physical barriers, ensuring accessibility and orientation, but also provide stimuli, comfort and independence. In other words, in addition to ensuring appropriate functionality and ease of use, inclusive design should meet the user’s aspirations, be attractive and bring emotional benefits.

Play and play spaces will only be truly inclusive when they will be designed and developed to serve all types of users, if not covering the whole products or space, but at least a good part of it. It was with all this in mind that Play Planet decided to embrace the development of new truly inclusive playground concepts – NEW CONCEPTS FOR ALL.

We are inspired by the work of some national and international figures in the field of inclusion, design for all and rehabilitation, but it is to a very special one that we dedicate the product of our creations: Jaime Octávio de Magalhães Filipe.