Child’s Play

Competition Details
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Interactive Children's Environment "Holcomb's Knowville"

by Ryan Gerber
Co-authors: Chris Vasco

While Cleveland-based Holcomb’s offers educators a wide range of educational tools, they wanted a new, exciting and innovative way to grow their business. The result? “KnowVille” -- an interactive after-school ‘community’ where kids are the ‘citizens’-- having fun, learning important life skills (like balancing a checkbook and making change), and stretching their imaginations like never before. Bringing to life this vision of a ‘year-round village of imagination’ for kids (grades K-8) was a company known itself for creativity and imagination -- V2V Design.
A quick tour of the 15,000 sq. ft. KnowVille includes a Town Hall, where the “Mayor” and teaching staff make and oversee town rules and plan educational activities, and a Town Square, with a Newspaper (‘The News’), a Bistro, Science Lab (‘KnowLab’), Library and Clubhouse. For fun, there’s a Central Park, Coffee Shop, Fitness Area, and Theater.

KnowVille’s “Governor,” Kathy Balogh, (aka: Holcomb’s Director of Market Development), said creating a flexible, not-too-‘finished’ environment was key.

“We wanted KnowVille to be a fun, creative environment but a basic one . . . because we want children to use their imaginations. Plus, we want to test various new ideas and change things around from time to time, so everything had to be very flexible,” Balogh said.

Holcomb’s wanted a modular layout, with an easily changed design, so V2V Design created an extremely flexible and user-friendly concept. Additionally, the environment created is fun, colorful, and stimulating. The wide use of bright colors (such as the green floor of Central Park), typography (such as the signage) and other imagery causes the space to be visually and intellectually appealing. It’s a space where simplicity drives imagination for everyone there.

The end result of V2V Design’s efforts is a child’s dream, and a testament to the company’s skill and creativity.