A musical play structure that invites children to explore differently shaped musical platforms, each of which makes a unique sound when stepped or jumped on. Arranged in a random format and constructed mainly from wood, the platforms are at different heights, adding some risk to the fun.
In 2011, a civil war began in Syria. Since then, 5.6 million men, women, and children have escaped to safe havens. Many end up in refugee or displaced person camps hundreds of miles from their homes, and thousands have fled to Reyhanli, Turkey, a town on the border of Syria. The refugees have doubled the town’s population, giving it the nickname “Little Syria”. Although most of the children in Reyhanli go to school, many don’t have a safe place to play or hang out before, after, or on weekends. Musical Platforms is designed to be part of a playground that will give these youth a place to run around, interact with other kids like them, and relieve stress by being outside. Further, parents and other adults can use the playground as a community gathering space to talk, exchange stories, and relax.
With its series of musical platforms set at different heights, Musical Platforms engages kids in several ways. Each platform is one of five shapes (cube, rectangle, cylinder, triangle, and star) and when stepped or jumped on makes a different sound based on the shape. Children explore the structure by jumping from platform to platform and seeing what combinations of sounds they can make. The greatest design challenge centered on how to generate the noises and sounds. Because hundreds of kids will be jumping and playing, the platforms need to be simple, preferably mechanical (not using electronic motors or machines so they're more durable. However, it’s difficult to make a complicated sound mechanically. The platforms are built from wood, and use springs to bounce up after a child has jumped on it. Inside each platform is a mechanism that contains both the springs to make the platform bounce and the metal xylophone bars used to make music. These platforms are a new way to play, engaging multiple senses and raising kids' spirits as they bounce and make music.
A mechanical collection of tiles that produce sound as children step on them. Designed for Syrian refugee children in Turkey, the musical playground structure acts as a happy, carefree, and exciting escape for children from the stresses in their lives.
The Syrian civil war in 2011 changed the life of millions. Since then, over five million people have escaped to refugee or displaced person camps, and many people fled to a small town in Turkey on the border of Syria, Reyhanli. Kids currently living in the Turkish town, Reyhanli, are not accustomed to playgrounds and the carefree lifestyle that children in other places experience. The Musical Platforms are designed to engage and excite these children, many of whom are refugees from Syria. The playground will allow them to feel free, happy, excited, and youthful; it will be a sort of community gathering space for children to play and adults to talk, play, and take a break.
The platforms are constructed from wood, springs, and a musical mechanism. Each platform is one of five shapes: rectangle, square, circle, triangle, and star. The biggest challenge was figuring out what mechanism would be most suitable for a playground with thousands of children, but also produce a loud noise. Inside each wooden platform is a spring to make it bounce after a child jumps on it, and xylophone bars to make music. Dance Chimes are a similar installation that consists of a three by three grid of tiles that make different sounds when stepped on. Musical Platforms builds on this idea since there are different shaped platforms to add more interest, and varying heights to boosts children's adrenalin. Kids can repeat sounds, jump around, and make all sorts of music with these platforms, while feeling free, excited, and safe.