Avant-Garde Playground Design

Image of Keita Takahashi's playground furniture design, 'Flower'. Diagram of kids pulling on ropes to bend a very long vertical structure of a flexible tube threaded through large colourful balls, that can be pulled about.

Image of Keita Takahashi's playground furniture design, 'DOG'. Diagram of huge catapults designed to launch items for a dog to chase down once launched.

Image of Keita Takahashi's playground furniture design, 'Trampolines'. Diagram of an oval route of sunken small round trampolines.

Katamari Damacy, game designer, Keita Takahashi, has been commissioned to create an avant-garde playground in Nottingham.

He has designed it for people of all ages, including dogs. I loved Katamari Damacy's style and bonkers music, and really like some of his designs here, but... If Nottingham Council truly want the best playground ever, then why no designs for wheelchair users too? 

Via: www.twitter.com/jonbeilin

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4 Responses to 'Avant-Garde Playground Design'

  1. # Blogger mail

    I completely agree Barrie - if 'children's' playground are being made pet accessible then surely, oh surely, they sould be made disabled friendly?! Not fair that children in wheelchairs (and adults too) only get to watch from the sidelines...  

  2. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    [moved from here: http://switchgaming.blogspot.com/2010/05/accessible-play-grounds.html]

    Grabug said...

    Most of the playground equipment isn't designed in a way that stops it from being enjoyed by wheelchair users from what I could see.

    Only things like the slide, mouse wheel, and jungle gym could be designed to be more wheelchair accessible than they currently are as the rest don't really require you to be able to move around as easily.

    I'm fairly certain each of the following wouldn't need any design change: ball tosser, catapult, swing, graffiti, blocks, seesaw, pull and release thing. It seems like you're just annoyed with nothing being stated as "wheelchair friendly"  

  3. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    I'm not annoyed - just disappointed that there isn't much in the way of obvious access, nor thought for it in something that claims to be avant-garde. Even the Graffiti area will be a much reduced experience without some additional thought. Wheelchair users are not all people with strong upper body strength - which is where the extra consideration is needed in my view.  

  4. # Blogger OneSwitch.org.uk

    Have posted some ideas over at http://www.uvula.jp/all-about-playground-session-in-gamecity - copied here...

    @Rusty - I can see a few of the designs being partially accessible for wheelchair users, but mainly for those who have a lot of upper body strength. For others, I think it would be fun to watch for a while, but if these designs were to be all there was, they’ll leave some people feeling quickly excluded.

    I think there are potential solutions for some of the exciting looking designs to boost their access. Some not, but not many people would expect everything to be accessible, so long as some things are for as many people as possible.

    A few quick thoughts...

    Graffiti: Offer chalk holders, to enable wheelchair users with the ability to reach the floor the same as other kids. For those who can’t manage with that – offer a book of stencils and a system that enables them to direct another child/enabler in putting their art work down on the available surfaces. For example – a book of stencils – a Yes/No indicator – A dice/direction indicator – and a book of rules (ideally all accessible via an accessibility switch). You might want to consider using a RADAR key system to secure items. Something similar could be used with “Giant Blocks”, to enable someone who can’t physically move the blocks, to still choose how they are positioned.

    Flower? If some way could be provided to attach the rope to a wheelchair – again with a system to enable a child to indicate where to pull it, and when to let go, that would become more inclusive. Most expensive would be a quick-release latching system, that could clamp to someone’s wheelchair, under the control of an accessibility switch. An alternative might be a picture of a circular grid that a child could point to / select position with a switch giving them the power to dictate to an enabler where they want the rope to be pulled to.

    Throwing Balls: Perhaps this could be opened up further with an air-pressure system that could be charged up by other kids (I’m thinking of Saturator type water pistols) – but triggered using a light pressure switch by a more disabled child. This could enable balls to be controlled by all.

    And so on...  

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