1. Australia's most advanced family entertainment areas was recently unveiled at Eastland in Ringwood, Melbourne. The new entertainment features designed by Innovative Retail include PLAYTIME SoftPlay systems, a two-storey climbing net, an Australian first interactive digital water curtain and a soon to be installed slide from the car park to the central hub.
“With the current evolution of Eastland we are building engaging experiences for a vibrant and evolving urban community,” said Steve Edgerton, General Manager of the new Eastland.
“These dynamic play installations are part of Eastland’s commitment to providing welcoming areas for the community to dwell, and is complemented by our dedication to public space with the Town Square and the new innovation centre and library, Realm.
“We hope these elements will provide Melbourne families with safe, secure and enjoyable places for children to engage,” added Mr Edgerton.
Eastland commissioned Innovative Retail to develop creative installations that invoked a sense of play and discovery through the retail destination, while meeting the key architectural elements of the centre. We spoke with Dale Smorgon, CEO of Innovative Retail.
What are Innovative Retails key philosophy's when designing play equipment and spaces for children?
When designing family entertainment areas Innovative Retail ensures that the solution is suitable for children of all ages and abilities. We create bespoke, non-prescriptive play offerings that encourage creative thinking and interaction while incorporating all major activities of jumping, running, climbing and sliding. Delivering bespoke customised solutions that suit the retail environment’s needs is also crucial while ensuring it’s a fun and educational place for kids and families.
Health and safety is also a number one priority for Innovative Retail as all rides and play areas are manufactured and maintained to the highest standards. All coatings on play installations have been tested to kill bacteria and reduce fungi that come into contact with them, creating a hygienic play environment.
Can you tell us more about the digital water curtain at Eastland and what it does?
The digital water curtain is an Australian first in a retail environment. It’s located inside the Eastland Shopping Centre and is nearly three meters high by two meters wide. Shapes, words and patterns can be displayed in the flowing water by opening and closing valves to create a void in the flow. Eastland can change the shape or message on a regular basis to communicate to shoppers and provide an interactive experience. Families and shoppers alike can enjoy the sensory experience and be mesmerized by the dancing patterns in the water.
Has working within a family business, translated into a family focus in Innovative Retail’s products and services?
Having a family of my own has helped me to really understand what children and families want when it comes to interactive play solutions. I often ask my children and nieces and nephews to test out some of the new play areas to get real time feedback. Our company passion lies in understanding what makes children happy, which is why we are constantly innovating to produce play solutions that engage children’s imagination and help them grow and learn.