Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Images and Description

We are the Alice Chun studio of 2nd year architecture students at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. This semester we are designing and constructing an enormous playground at Stuyvesant Town in lower Manhattan to be completed by the end of June.

The playground, Kids Climb-It is an alien all-rubber environment open to exploration through hidden spaces, courses, items and interactive features. As such, the playground provides a basis for children of all ages to create their own games and playing style in a system that responds to their movement and connects them to one another. The groundscape and structure act together to promote healthy, open-ended connections and competition with one’s self and other children. Electricity generators are incorporated throughout the structure along with a time + energy stopwatch so that children learn about energy while traversing their own invented courses to see who can make the most of their movement.

The structure’s rope nets power feedback devices such as light, sound and water. The Climb-It-eer will experience an instant reaction from their environment when they hit upon a way to generate electricity, providing incentive to continue such activities. Among the hundreds of rubber donuts that they will run into and climb on are special “easter egg” donuts that, when hit, emit sound or light, audibly connect with someone on the other end, and spray mist on that Climb-It-eer or in a random location. In this way, they are encouraged to explore every corner of the environment in order to learn its secrets and create additional games that incorporate newly found features.

In addition to powering the interactive features, the stored energy created by movement is released at night as the structure lights up between each donut, turning it into a social space for adults and children. As sustainable energy practices take on ever-increasing importance, Kids Climb-It aims to educate the next generation on the potential power each of us has to affect our surroundings while providing new and unparalleled experiences of fun and exercise.