Urban furniture with a playful twist: how to create the most vibrant retail and dining precincts

Urban ‘mainstays’ like shopping, dining and recreation precincts are at a crossroads – and there’s a playful secret to giving them a new lease of life.

Take the traditional shopping centre, or ‘shopping mall’ for example. To compete against an online world – and in crowded and mature markets – they need to offer a memorable experience far beyond the shopping itself.

Success lies in differentiating the consumer offering – and reinviting the shopping centre as the new ‘town centre’, including events, art, fitness clubs and ‘pop up’ markets.

In short, it’s about adding value and providing something that can’t be satisfied by buying online. With elements that go beyond the purchases, by encouraging people to come for an experience.

It’s about creating a destination with everything people need under one roof, including dining options, a playspace for children, and an attractive (and convenient) ‘rest and mingle’ zone for parents, adults and senior citizens.

Placemaking – and play making

As outlined in Retail & Leisure International: placemaking – or turning spaces into places – has become a key topic and remains a major talking point within the retail sector.

Shopping centres have become mixed-use destinations, with so much more than retail brands.

The challenge? How to provide connection, convenience and a sense of belonging for every generation – forging bonds and memories so people come back for more.

Urban furniture as a secret ingredient

Urban Effects has joined forces with our long-standing partner, Playground Centre, to create FUNiture: urban furniture as you’ve never seen it before.

The focus is on designing pieces that connect and multi-task: combining both bench seating and play equipment with creativity that will surprise.

Streamlined timber seating doubles as a climbing wall, crawl tunnel, rope bridge and more – so adults can recharge and mingle, with happy and active children safe in sight. It’s that elusive ‘win-win’ that people are searching for – in one simple, clever and versatile package.

See it to believe it

FUNiture is the unique concept putting a new spin on outdoor spaces – and you have to see it to believe it.

Want to create happy, multi-generational hubs that keep everyone coming back for more?

Talk to us about the possibilities Download the brochure today

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