Presenting visions for future learning and playing spaces
Park style installation with an irregular floor surface.
Various mechanisms incorporating imagery, lighting, sound, network and other forms of media technology are embedded in and around the park's flooring. While offering the visitor a variety of playing opportunities, the entire park as one "environment" stimulates the visitor's creativity, and evokes new forms of "play".
Irregular Floor Surface
Aiming to stimulate play based on creative ideas, the Korogaru Koen Park focuses on the concept of the floor, which up to now has only been associated with serving as a base for standing or walking, as a meaningful apparatus. The extensive, intricately built floor area consists exclusively of curved and oblique surfaces, looking like a collage of sampled skateboard ramps. In addition to such primary body movements as "sliding", "rolling" or "hiding", this particular flooring's built-in speakers, microphones, lighting and other media technology-based devices further inspire media-based communication, as in "hearing sounds that are not here," "talking to someone far away," or "changing the color of the entire space."
Highlighted hereby is the park's quality as a combination of material/physical layers into a single new medium, and as an environment in which visitors can actively find their own individual purposes.
As the flooring is made of relatively easily-available lumber, the supervising staff can repair damages immediately after detection, and thus renew the setting piece by piece without changing its overall appearance.
Speakers and Vibrators
A total of 16 speakers embedded in the floor in a 4 x 4 grid pattern are individually controllable by way of originally developed software. According to six pre-programmed acoustic "scenes", these speakers emit sounds ranging from sine wave, noise and other artificial sounds, to sampled sounds of birds, waterfalls, markets etc., played back at varying volume and changing audio positions, continuously modifying the park's atmosphere.
Vibrators installed next to each of the speakers minutely shake in tandem with the sounds from the respective speaker, to stimulate the visitor also on a tactile level.
Microphones embedded in the flooring at three different locations record the various sounds made by visitors, which are then played back from speakers at different positions. In addition, by knocking in the direction of the microphones following certain rules, a command is entered in the above-mentioned software, which eventually triggers the playback of acoustic scenes.
The ceiling is fitted with 20 full-color LED lights, halogen lights, and one large balloon light, color and blinking patterns of each of which are controlled to change in accordance with the aforementioned "scenes".
Sheets for "kids' idea sketches" were distributed at the venue for visitors to illustrate their own "ideal park" in texts or drawings, and drop their proposals into the "kids idea post box" at the entrance. The various ideas about parks collected this way eventually served as reference material for a discussion in the "Kodomo Asobiba Meeting", an event designed to add new functions to the Korogaru Koen Park.