About Michael Laris

Bio: Director, Product Development and Strategy Playworld Systems, Inc. “The world needs play and we need to bring together different worlds of play to make it meaningful and relevant for children.” Michael Laris joined Playworld Systems as director of product development and strategy in 2013. In this position, Michael focuses on creating systems and processes that lead to innovative outdoor recreation products that respond to the needs of today’s children and adults in a meaningful way. Michael also currently serves as a play/design specialist for Mali Kalanso, a non-profit organization that builds schools in Mali, Africa. He helps to organize the donation and construction of play equipment at the new schools. For nearly 15 years, Michael worked in the playground and play sports equipment industry to provide inspiring products for children and adults.

Urban play: designing playgrounds for cities

rsz_photo__playform_7_location_singapore_nightPlay is vital for everyone but unfortunately in some communities, play spaces are harder to come by. Lack of age appropriate playgrounds and cramped urban areas are partly to blame. While cities …

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Inside Design: Branch Out

I’ve worked in the playground equipment industry for decades and one of the best aspects of my job is getting to see firsthand the pure joy that play brings to children. My …

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Early childhood: the importance of age-appropriate playground equipment

Playworld FirstPlay - early childhood playground equipmentClose your eyes and envision people at a playground. Maybe you pictured elementary school-aged children conquering the monkey bars, jumping from the swings or zipping down the slide. For decades, people have …

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The fundamentals of excellent play design

The fundamentals of play design - Playworld

Budget. Available space. Fall zones and surface requirements. In playground planning, the practical considerations drive a lot of decisions, often taking up the majority of your time and attention. Playworld playground designers …

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Inside Design: Unity RockR

Our UnityTM Collection is inspired by the iconic play equipment we all grew up with, and infused with a modern relevant twist. As we expand the Unity line, as we do …

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Inside Design: Unity Teeter Tunnel

Not long ago, I introduced you to our new Unity Canopy, part of the Unity Collection–re-imagined classic playground pieces designed to be more relevant for how kids play today. Another piece …

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Inside Design: Unity™ Canopy Puts a Twist on the Traditional

Taking classic playground structures and re-imagining them to be more relevant for how kids play today was a thought-provoking and motivating task that resulted in our new product, Unity™ Canopy. The small …

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Playing it safe with SMARTE®

When planning a new playground, chances are you’ll spend the majority of your time reviewing and selecting equipment. However, it’s important to think about surfacing from the start. Playground surfacing should not …

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