EP 153 . 11 Dec 19

Designing play areas

With Anjali Menon

In the episode

According to the latest pan-India survey (by District Information System for Education or DISE) statistics, every two in five elementary schools in India don’t have a playground, Which is two of the 10 basic norms mandated under the Right to Education Act (RTE). A survey conducted covered 1.5 million elementary schools in 680 districts across the states catering to 19 crore children and 40 percent of educational institutions are having zero outdoor sports facilities. However I am not going on a rant since there is a ray of hope (Not because our PM speaking about Yoga), but because I have Anjali Menon with us on Audiogyan. Thank you, Anjali for giving your time and it’s a real pleasure to have you on Audiogyan.

Designing play areas with Anjali Menon


  • In one of the articles you mention, “We do not only design for special-needs children, but we also design for everyone. They have to be a part of the same society as everyone else, and that cannot happen in isolation. So we design play experiences that are fun for everyone” – Can you start by telling us a brief background about Gudgudee, how did it start, and what the story behind it?
  • Can you share a particular case study in detail? Maybe, at Panchkula or any site in Mumbai. What was the problem statement, how did you address it and what was the final output and impact. How did you measure it?
  • What is or was the biggest hurdle in evangelizing the importance of well-designed play areas? Who are you dealing with? Government, Organisation, NGOs, etc…?
  • How different is your approach while designing spaces for special needs versus the rest of the kids? What all aspects are different w.r.t. psychology, materials, execution, game formats, etc…?
  • You have picked your battle of making playing areas more inclusive and welcoming for all types of children. What is the future of Gudgudee? What according to you is the crying need of the hour w.r.t playing spaces, areas, and overall development of children in India?

About Anjali Menon

Anjali Menon is a co-founder of Gudgudee. Anjali with Aditi Agarwal (who works from BLR) started Gudgudee in 2014. It’s a design studio that specializes in creating innovative play spaces for children of all abilities. They aspire to transform public spaces and improve the quality of life for children and society at large. We will try and document a broad landscape of playing areas for children in India and how Gudgudee is trying not to make a dent, but smoothen the slides and swings so kids can play.