Design Process: Lotus Park Toy Library

It's a new year and we are excited to fill you in on what we have been up to with VPUU (Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading) and the community of Lotus Park.

A little while ago we painted a mural for the ECD container and its been great to revisit the space and see the community centre developing nicely. The trees have grown tall, two new containers have been added and there is a busy flow of people running various programs for their community.

See Saw Do has been working on a number new projects at Lotus Park and we recently designed and installed some fresh furniture for their Toy Library and Youth space. Below is a few images documenting the challenges, inspirations, concept and fun that we had along the way.

Design Challenges

The toy library is aimed at equipping the various ECD programs within Lotus Park by providing educational resources as well as a facility to run learning programs. Working within the small confines of a container called for space-saving furniture that could be used as both storage and a ECD learning environment.


We were greatly inspired by the Nomadic Furniture design of Victor Papanek & James Hennessey. Their approach lends itself to producing design that is accessible by using simple yet effective building methods, basic tools and readily available materials.

The Meccano toy set also served up some inspiration in the studio.

We liked the idea of a building system which allows for design that can be easily replicated, prototyped & played with. It is modular interchangeable and easily lends itself to adding accessories or extra parts.

Prototypes & Design Play

Learning to play is a crucial part of the design process. We limited ourselves to a few basic elements and began to explore.

Some new ideas evolved

The hands on process yielded some new ideas. We discovered an idea to use the recycled plastic pipes as shelving plugs. The visual reference to lego appropriate for a toy library design. Other ideas include shock absorbers to ease the speed of the fold out table, weaving pipes through the structure to add an element of colour and a bracket system for the foldout legs.

Loose Parts & Assembly

Our design process was guided by the concept of producing a puzzle set of loose parts that could be assembled by communities or volunteers. We aim to use this concept to make installation and assembly a fun inclusive process that anyone can be apart of.

Lotus Park Installation

Exploring the potential of one building method that can be played with to design many different products was a highlight of the process. At this stage we have designed and installed a modular shelving unit with flip out tables and peg board, a roll out reading lawn, a table (6 seater) and crate stools.

checkout the final products on our design page.