Proludic celebrates 10 years designing outdoor playground equipment that’s a perfect fit for the Australian environment
For a man who has been working in the industry for over 20 years, Steve Walding still gets excited talking about playground design. This year, our managing director Steve and his business partner and wife, landscape architect Madeleine, celebrate 10 years since they launched Proludic in Australia in 2010.
“When I began working in the field 20 years ago, play equipment was functional, but there wasn’t a lot of playground design involved. You might find a swing, a slide and a basic climbing unit in your local park, but not much more”, explained Steve.
“We saw an opportunity for a design-led company that was 100% suited to the Australian environment. We wanted to make playgrounds that are designed by Australians for Australian families.”
A culture of innovation in outdoor playground equipment design
Being part of a large, international group offers real advantages for our clients. Founded in France in 1988, the company has always made a significant investment in research and development.
According to Steve, “Australia has such a strong outdoor culture and a solid demand for good quality recreational facilities. As a result, our ideas for product improvements and for the design of new products are embraced by HQ in France and implemented worldwide.”
“This focus on innovation and our ability to give constant feedback to our manufacturing team, has led to more inclusive, creative designs and stronger, resilient play equipment which is safe for children and sustainably produced.”
Inclusive design is at the centre of our approach to making great playground equipment and playspaces
At Proludic, inclusive design is fundamental. We’ve had a long-standing commitment to creating play equipment and playspaces that all children can enjoy. We also feel it’s important that we provide resources for others to increase knowledge in this area.
“Our Inclusive Play Areas Guide was the first of its kind”, according to Madeleine Walding, Proludic’s Commercial Manager and an inclusive playspace advocate. “Since its release, other guides have been written and more projects are being designed along inclusive guidelines.”
“One example of our work in this area is Jacaranda Park in Grafton. It’s one of the largest inclusive playspaces installed anywhere in Australia. We worked closely with Clarence Valley Council to design and develop unique, inclusive play solutions inspired by the region.”
Why Australia is leading the world in designing play environments
Australians love the outdoors and Australia is an educated, mature market for play equipment. In the last five to ten years, it’s clear people’s expectations about what makes a good playground is increasing.
Steve elaborates: “With social media, the public can easily give their feedback on what works and what doesn’t in their favourite playground. As a result, there’s been an increase in community expectations and investment in installing better playspaces.”
“It’s given us an enormous opportunity to implement new ideas and develop better products with several Proludic ranges having achieved the highest honour for design innovation in Australia. Throughout our design process, we also try to give a voice to those who are often not easily heard – babies and toddlers, teenage girls, the elderly and people with disability.”
View our design awards HERE.
What makes ‘a great playground’ ?
“Playgrounds are all about kids being active and having fun. They’re a focal point for thriving communities to meet, relax, get fit and enjoy each other’s company. They’re a central ingredient of what makes somewhere a good place to live. A successful playground is also one that’s designed to fit into its local environment.”
We offer innovative and nature-themed designs plus bespoke play equipment for our clients
While Proludic is known for its innovative and nature-themed designs, we are increasingly designing bespoke play equipment. Two examples of how Proludic have created unique playgrounds and drawn from the local culture are the Riverside Adventure Park in Swan Hill and the Austin Crescent Reserve in Pascoe Vale, Victoria.
- Riverside Adventure Park
At Riverside Adventure Park, local indigenous artist Sandra Kropinyeri created artwork based on traditional stories of the Swan Hill region.
We used our innovative and award-winning Grafic Games technique to apply the artist’s designs to a giant, custom-designed Kanopé Tree Tower. This helps to strengthen the community’s connection with the playground and supports imaginative play.
- Austin Crescent Reserve
Designed specifically for Australia, Kanopé seamlessly integrates into the natural setting using robust and low maintenance materials made to suit Australian conditions. Our playground design revitalised the playspace by complementing the Creek and Wetland theme of the park.
Our success is based on designing play equipment kids love – and providing outstanding customer service to our clients
The Proludic philosophy is to provide opportunities for children to choose how they play.
“Children’s needs always come first in every design. But client service is fundamental to us”, explained Steve. “Our service model is based on outstanding design, easy-to-maintain, durable equipment, environmentally-sound production processes, ready access to stock and spare parts and on-time, professional delivery and installation.”
“Having a great team of qualified local landscape architects, designers and construction professionals that help bring our clients’ vision to life is at the core of our Australian success story.
“We’re confident that Proludic’s playgrounds will continue to offer our customers exceptional value – and bring joy to Australian families for many years to come.”
See more of our award-winning playground designs HERE.
Get in touch to discuss how we can help with your next playspace:
📞 Call us on 1300 800 181
✉️ Send us an email at email@example.com or fill our contact form
Click to download the article published in the Australasian Parks and Leisure Journal – Spring 2020 edition.