Interactive Climber, 2019
For my graduation in 2019, I designed an Interactive Climber for Playnetic's new Traditionals product line. With this new product line Playnetic reimagined playground classics as innovative and interactive playground equipment.
This climber features interactive discs that are suspended in the air by chains with rubber sleeving. Positioned at different heights they create a dynamic climbing experience. De discs detect if pressure is applied to them and can respond with light, sound and haptic effects depending on what game is activated.
Exhibited at FSB Cologne 2019
Human Powered Play
Playnetic playground equipment works on Human Power. Energy for the interactive elements of this climber is generated by turning the charging wheel. Because of this sustainable way of generating energy, Playnetic playground equipment does not have to be connected to the power grid.
Cables run through the square tubing to their respective climbing discs. (Cables are not pictured here.)
An academic understanding of the subject of play was needed to get an abstract idea of the phenomenon and to gain a vocabulary necessary to communicate its subtleties. To achieve this understanding I conducted an extensive literature review about play and related subjects.
Co-Designing with kids: getting insight into their needs by letting them design their own playground. During a six-lesson program the kids went through the first phases of the design process. Each lesson had its own theme: empathise, sensitise, gaining insight, presenting, thinking outside-of-the-box, ideate.
Children have the constant urge to explore and push their boundaries. My ideation was focused around generating curiosity and letting children explore and play at their own pace: non-directive play. Interactive elements should stimulate their senses and make the climbing experience more engaging and immersive.
The interactive discs are the main innovation. Multiple prototyping iterations were done to develop a reliable pressure detection mechanism.
In the last phase of the project, a full-size and functioning prototype was made for testing and exhibiting at the FSB trade fair.
“Stijn has done an excellent job with the development of the Interactive Climber during his internship with us. I have never worked with someone who keeps as much focus and is as aware of the steps in their design process. In addition, he has all the practical skills needed to present and realize his designs.”
—Joost van Vliet
Lead Industrial Design @ Playnetic