Play is Serious Work
Jon Racek, as the founder of Play360, has built and helped train organizations in the developing world to build learning resources, including playgrounds and classroom resources. He believes that play is not only a priority but a right, and so his projects focus on bringing this to communities all over the world. His work creates playgrounds that carve out spaces dedicated to play. By doing so, it sends a message to its children, that you are important, that you have a right to be a child and have a right to play. Not only this, the act of building a playground can become a catalyst for other community action. By providing a community space, playgrounds allow for interaction, development, and impact.
Jon Racek is a multidisciplinary designer and faculty member at Indiana University whose scope of expertise includes architecture, interiors, furniture, landscapes, and playgrounds. Jon is the founder of Play360, a nonprofit that trains organizations in the developing world to build their own learning resources, including playgrounds and classroom resources. Jon also directs Printshop, a project to create a network of distributed manufacturing centers in Rwanda centered around 3D printing. Before joining the faculty, Professor Racek was an architect, furniture designer, and entrepreneur. His work has been exhibited all over the world and featured in publications such as the New York Times and TIME Magazine. In 2012, Building Design and Construction Magazine named him one of “40 Under 40” in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Jon has recently received a Fulbright Scholarship and will be traveling to Sri Lanka in Spring 2022!