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Learn To Play: Chicago Children’s Museum

December 1, 2010


The objective of this 15-week workshop was to design a children’s exhibit for the Chicago Children’s Museum. Work from this project was integrated into the museum’s planning for upcoming exhibits and its eventual relocation to Grant Park. Through a structured design process, the project emphasizes the use of prototypes of all kinds to represent the visitor experience. These take the form of scale and full-scale mock-ups, paper mock-ups, digital interfaces, and videos appropriate for expressing concept intent to kids, parents, developers, others in the workshop and in the design community. Promising ideas are further developed into more refined concepts and ultimately a final exhibit design.


“Chicago Children’s Museum’s mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. The museum’s primary audience is children up through the fifth grade including their families, along with the school and community groups that support and influence children’s growth and development.” — Museum mission statement

Beginning with observations of children and care givers playing, exploring, and learning at the museum, teams become immersed in the exhibition development process.


By using rapid prototyping throughout the design process, exhibit themes are conceived, considered, understood, and defined. Then elements of the exhibit experience are developed, and ultimately composed into a comprehensive experience that fit within the defined museum exhibition space.

Final Results

For full details, download the documents below.

Hide + Seek
Creating extraordinary hiding places with a familiar furniture and environments.

A playscape where children can build and tell stories with light. Activities include the Sparkway, Lighttails, Illuminos, Constellation Wall, Sparkitechture, Cave Painting, and Circuits.

Wobble World
A giant moving board game that lets kids play by using their own balance; a variety of teeter-totters for launching, sliding, tunneling and surfing; stackable & tippable blocks; curbs for balancing while walking along.

Over & Around
A space filled with components kids can arrange in nearly infinite ways to climb, scoot, crawl, build, search, find, tag, hide, leap, swing, dance and bound around.

Windy City
An interactive playscape to experience the forces of air. Activities include the Wall of Suck, Air Disco, Octo-hoses, Air pillars, Rapsberry Organ, and Duct-duct-goose.




Apeksha Garga
Benjamin Davis
Chao Su
Dania Peterson
Gene Young
Guillermo Krovblit
HyeKyung Yoo
James Barton
Jared Allen
Ji Sun Park
Joseph Shields
Jung Joo Sohn
Junyoung Yang
Katherine Pemberton
Kathryn Wasserman
Mehmet Cirakoglu
Pinxia Ye
Qijing Huang
Van Vuong