Once Upon a Castle
Breaking gender stereotypes in children's play

Once Upon a Castle, children would dress up as Kings and Queens, Squires and Knights, Wizards and Jesters and they played happily ever after in their fantasy kingdom.Once Upon a Castle a uniquely Chicago Children’s Museum exhibit. The physical pieces of the exhibit were designed to promote three distinct types of childhood play activities; dramatic, imaginative or fantasy, and active play.Our design approach was modern and sophisticated to create a medium-resemblance environment that is specifically designed to evoke a castle environment without being overly focused on ultra-realistic details. It offers children from preschoolers to eight-year-olds the opportunity to imagine their own scenarios, create their own adventures and let their own narratives bring the environment to life.

Chicago Children's Museum
1,300 SF
Chicago, IL

Space Planning

Environmental Design

Implementation Oversight

Boys can wear sparkly tunics. Girls can swashbuckle with shields and swords. Little boys can prepare a stew in the giant cauldron while their bigger sisters don sorcerers' robes to cook up a spell. Or the other way around, or something else entirely. The point is supposed to be that sex doesn't matter.
Chicago Tribune
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