Bredäng is an urban district in the southwest suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. The majority of the district was built in the 1960s and 70s, as part of the million programme, a public housing programme implemented by ...
FORT FUN L.A.B.S indoor playground – the venue for laughter, animation, exercise and play
The word L.A.B.S. – formed from the initial letters of the German 'Lachen, Aktivieren, Bewegen and Spielen' (laughter, animation, exercise and play) – may well suggest a scientific research centre. However, this is actually an indoor playground that incorporates six different interactive play elements that provide visitors with the opportunity to freely exercise and learn from and compete with each other through play.
The director of FORT FUN, Andreas Sievering explains: “Children always have the urge to be physically active but in many of today's environments their opportunities for this are very limited while the availability of digital computer games means that they are increasingly being lured away from this. The purpose of our FORT FUN L.A.B.S. is to encourage them to discover their inner energies and convert these into fun experiences. What we are in effect doing is positioning the digital world of play and adventure familiar to them back in the real world. This is a highly innovative concept that we have managed to realise with the help of our partners Yalp and Playparc.”
Four of the interactive play devices have been supplied by Yalp. The MEMO activity zone, which consists of seven play columns with LED touch display, the FONO, a DJ booth at which users can mix their own tracks with the aid of a smartphone, the SUTU, an interactive football wall and the SONA, an audio-interactive play arch. All these elements have one thing in common – they promote the motor and cognitive skills of users and stimulate their team spirit, powers of retention, creativity and reaction rate.
Christine Schütte, head of marketing, gives an example: “The MEMO LED columns are activated by touching the display and encourage participants to take part in various games through which they can compete to see who can collect the most points. To achieve this, they have to touch only those columns that light up in a particular colour, solve simple mathematical tasks or use their knowledge of the alphabet – and do all this as quickly as possible. Users can of course devise their own game rules; there are practically no limits to what they can think up using their own imagination.” She adds: “The SUTU interactive football wall – or as we like to call it, our soccer pitch 2.0 – can be used for a range of exciting football-related activities that are suitable for both individuals and teams. When a player hits one of the 16 pressure-sensitive zones with a football, the LED diodes on the frame light up and the player gets feedback through the four loudspeakers that also announce the progress of the game. This is a state-of-the-art way of showing players, for example, who can kick the ball the hardest and who is most accurate.”
Also designed to be used for unstructured, free play activities is the 'Imagination Playground', which is created in collaboration with Playparc and which will become part of the L.A.B.S. as well. This is a mobile play system for children aged 2 to 12 years that uses simple geometric play blocks that allow children to give expression to their full range of play potential. Even the youngest will feel like genuine developers or inventors as they construct, for example, their own first robot. Motivation of the impulse to explore is also provided for by an unusual maze that runs through the middle of the 'research centre' and has also been supplied by Playparc.
In an area extending over 160 m2 and two levels, children need to find their way through crooked gangways full of technical artefacts (the buttons of which the more daring will press) and across ropeways while they will encounter one or the other surprise in the form of special effects intended to deflect them from their path. Both physical dexterity and analytical thinking are required to successfully negotiate the maze.
Images: FORT FUN Abenteuerland
FORT FUN GmbH