Universal Design Winner
Kiev National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture
One of the most important aspects of a child’s life and development is communication, interaction and game playing with parents and peers. Unfortunately, children with disabilities are still excluded from social life in the modern world. They can’t just go out and play. I was inspired by the desire to see children with all abilities at playgrounds. The main problems that
prevent this are hearing problems, musculoskeletal disorders and visual impairments.
As a solution, this space incorporates tanks with sand at different heights. This is done to provide children in wheelchairs with the ability to join sand games with other children. Also, this is the opportunity for parents or other adults with
disabilities who accompany children to play with them. The playground meets principles of universal design:
it can be used by children with any physical ability, so everybody will be able to find a way to play. There is a wide range of use for the elements; the use of design is easy to understand; the design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities; the design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions (soft material is used for most parts of the construction); the design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimal fatigue (easy to push buttons, easily adjustable heights, etc); and appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.
Every button has a programmed sound (musical note or natural sound) and light pattern. When the button is
touched by a child the sound and pattern appears at the same time. Children can discover what hides behind every
button, and create a unique composition of music and light with their own hands. The game provides
unique possibility even for blind and deaf children to play together using light and sound. This will become a universal language for them to speak.
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