Create. Educate. Impact.


The soul of these products is idealistic, optimistic and rooted in the belief that imagination is an essential part of childhood. They are never gender specific, and encourage an exploratory, unstructured play.


The 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y

prt_275x262_1420261878_2xOpen to children 2.4 to 5 years of age, the 14th Street Y Preschool stimulates and supports children’s natural curiosity about the world in which they live and play. Guided by the firm belief that “play is a child’s work,” we have filled our sunny, spacious classrooms with the rich and varied materials children need to do their daily jobs.

Cas has reimagined the Y’s rooftop playground as a landscape for flexible use. The multi-tiered deck has slopes, curves, nooks and patterns in wood to inspire active imaginative play. The new design will make gatherings, rooftop movie screenings, outdoor yoga, live performances, stargazing and lectures on the roof all the more exciting as either amphitheater or stage.


Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds

Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds

adventure-playground-2Cas has worked with New York Coalition for Play to bring form to the ideals of free play as a contributing designer, illustrator, and playworker. She is also a collaborator and ongoing design advisor for Pop Up Adventure Play.  Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds are free, public celebrations of child-directed play, stocked with loose parts (such as cardboard boxes, fabric, tape and string) and staffed by playworkers.  An introductory version of the classic adventure playground model, they gently introduce themes of risk and freedom by welcoming people of all ages and abilities to play together.

Cas has participated in numerous “play” festivals including the Central Park Ultimate Block Party and the Governors Island Figment Festival, as well as developing a proposal for the South Lawn of the White House, as part of Michelle Obama’s Lets Move initiative.

The High Line Workyard Kit

The High Line Workyard Kit


Designed as a custom play feature for the High Line, this collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, “wingbolts” and rope allow children to follow their curiosity while playing. There are no wrong answers, and while the pieces can come together in the form of a structure used to convey buckets or materials, they can also become a giraffe, monster, robot, airplane or just a “thingy”. Here the act of playing and playing and building is the goal, not the finished product.

WorkyardKit_FriendsHighLine12Developed in collaboration with Early Learning Educators and Friends of the High Line, the Workyard Kit reflects the High Line’s industrial history and simple, honest materiality.  Click here for more info on the HighLine.

Lloyd Hotel Music Room

Lloyd Hotel Music Room

lloyd-piano-room-compressedA design/build project, Cas worked on a team with Joep Van Lieshout and Principal Architect MVRDV, on the Music Room for the Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam. The Music Room includes a vertical bathroom and curved staircase leading to a “family bed” that accommodates 12.


Cas Holman has spent the last ten years immersed play, education and imagination. Through her company Heroes Will Rise, she designs and manufactures tools for the imagination. These materials are manipulable parts and pieces which inspire constructive play, imaginative forms, and cooperative interactions between people. Abstract in their identity, these tool/toys inspire children and adults to imagine the origin and story of the toy as well as how to use it.  “What is it?” and “What does it do?” are answered in intuitive details, play prompts, and semiotic clues, making the instructions implicit in the tool/toy.

She is a full time faculty at RISD in the Industrial Design Department and recently relocated from Brooklyn to Hope, RI where she prototypes her playthings on five acres known as Camp Fun.

Cas is the founder and principal designer at Heroes Will Rise.  Heroes Will Rise is an independent toy company focusing on products designed in the spirit of invention and creativity. The soul of these products is idealistic, optimistic and rooted in the belief that imagination is an essential part of childhood. Our toys are never gender specific, and encourage an exploratory, unstructured play. Their Hope, Rhode Island workshop is situated on a retired summer camp filled with toys, drawings, prototype structures, dreams and dogs.



Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

Email Cas at
casholman (at) gmail (dot) com

For Rigamajig inquiries please email