A Co-designed Play System that Reinforces Social Relationships Through Active Outdoor Play
In collaboration with Funan Fina & Mamie Shi
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
Health Design Lab
Wing.It is an interactive wearable that encourages kids to play outdoors and form connections with their peers. It is made up of wearable wings and whackers that attach to the wings through Velcro. Co-designed with children from Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School, a school for children with learning differences, the product system engages the kids to play outdoors to provide an alternative to digital games and connect them to their environment. There are no set rules to the game. The premise of the play system is to give agency to the kids to make up their own game, negotiate the rules and keep evolving as they play. The game encourages cooperation and initiative among the players and strengthens social bonds, especially among kids who may struggle with it.
Fitted for young bodies, the wing is worn over the arms and legs, expanding their bodies to encompass the space between their arms and providing the opportunity for role-play. The wing is covered in a pattern of velcro as the interface for interaction with whackers held by other players.
The whackers, all wrapped in fuzzy velcro, are designed to be hand-held and easy to throw. They are lightly stuffed with stuffing to avoid painful accidents during rough play.