Alyn’s Playground

  • Accessible Playgroung

    These are the seven projects as proposed to
    Alyn children hospital, by H.I.T industrial design
    students and supported by E.W.B Israel.
    In some of the projects engineering students
    from various universities contributed proposals
    and solutions for the proposed design.

  • Speakerena
    speakerena aims to enable
    children on wheelchairs to
    experience dance. The
    Speakerena is a platform
    designed to hold a
    wheelchair and generate
    movement synchronized
    with music.
    Read More
  • Wild thing
    Wild Things aims to enable
    children to be mischievous
    and wild by playing the role
    of a large animal , leaving
    animal tracks behind them.
    Did you ever feel tempted to
    paint on a wall? To stomp a
    clean corridor in muddy
    boots, that’s what wild things
    is about.
    Read More
  • Harmonic
    The Harmonic Swing uses
    the physical principle of
    energy transfer between
    connected swings to allow a
    child in wheelchair and his
    escort or friend the pleasure
    of swinging together.
    Read More
  • Sliding
    Sliding Notes offers a
    musical experience through
    the ride on its paths: as the
    wheelchair passes over the
    path surface, it causes
    mechanical movements that
    bring sticks to move and hit
    percussive instruments.
    Read More
  • Speedy
    Speedy aims to capture the
    experience of a high speed
    roller-coaster. The project
    offers children on a
    wheelchair a taste of speed
    which is usually not
    accessible to them, while
    maintaining a safe
    Read More
  • Air Monster
    the Air Monster aims to
    enable children to control
    the motions of an inflatable
    monster-shaped doll whose
    size is far larger than their
    own. The notion of
    empowerment through this
    dramatic difference of scale
    is the basic aim of this
    Read More
  • Carousel
    Carousel Squared aims to
    enhance the experience of a
    carousel, by creating the
    opportunity for
    synchronization between
    children on separate
    Read More

About the Alyn’s playground collaboration

The collaboration between Alyn hospital, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and third year students from the Department of Industrial Design from Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) started with Alyn's vision to create a playground for their patients, on the roof of the hospital. This playground should serve all patients and espeically those of the Respiratory Rehabilitation Department, headed by Dr. Eliezer Beeri.

For most children in a wheelchair, playgrounds are inaccessible, and the physical and developmental benefits they offer are out of their reach. Specialized parks, partially accessible to wheelchairs, tend to offer limited versions of the common playground equipment; such devices are engineered to enable wheelchair access, but tend to look robust, technical and in general not inviting or playful.

The design students from HIT, under the guidance of Vice-CEO Naomi Gefen and with the support of volunteers from EWB, worked on envisioning and developing experiences that would enable children confined to wheelchairs to be in a playground. There are considerable limitations when designing for kids aged 5-13, limited to a wheelchair and with some form of breathing support system. The projects lecturers Ori Ben Zvi (department of ID staff) and Michal Rinott (head of the Interaction Lab at HIT) decided to focus the student's efforts in identifying an experience to initiate and focus the design process.

The students explored existing playgrounds, studied the needs and abilities of the Alyn patients, and examined extreme environments, such as amusement parks. The experiences were then developed into design proposals of playground equipment.

The process of developing the design started as sketches, developed into scaled models and within a month evolved into full size models. These models were tested with Alyn staff at HIT design faculty; with a supporting team of engineers from EWB. Two weeks later, after considerable revisions and workshop hours, the students transported their prototypes to Alyn hospital to enable the patients to try the prototypes, hoping to gain learnings from the interaction and use of the devices.

The encounter was extremely productive for the students and exciting for the children. The technical feasibility of most of the contraptions was established. The next step was to create a proposal with improved feasibility and a first version of a detailed design.