Narrow Way Playground
As part of the Hackney Regeneration programme 2014 we created 4 game structures, which were placed along the Narrow Way, in Hackney Central.
Accessible to the public to play as they passed by, the game structures included
A slightly different take on the more traditional labyrinth game where you navigate a ball around the board avoiding the holes, this table labyrinth had 6 balls with the aim of placing each ball into a designated hole marked on the maze.
Each hole matched an image inspired by historical facts from the area, which people could read up on, on the side of the structure.
Good dexterity skills were required and particularly well mastered by the younger players.
Putting a time limit on how quickly you can place the balls in the holes, added an extra challenge.
Bimini ring toss
This game was inspired by the Caribbean game ‘Bimini ring toss’, which involves swinging a ring which is attached to a string in an arc so as to hook it onto a hook attached to the wall. The ring must stay on the hook to count as a successful throw.
We decided to add some extra hooks and two strings of varying lengths with a ring attached, that you could swing from different angles.
Marking each hook with a number, players collected points according to the number they hooked. Using the shorter string doubled your points.
Wire buzzer loop game
The aim of the wire buzzer game was to move the wand from one side of the loop to the other without touching the pipe. Integrating an electric system, touching the pipe created a loud buzzing sound.
With either ends commanding different difficulty levels, the players could decide which side to start from and which manoeuvre to challenge first.
If you touched the pipe you had to start from the beginning. For the very talented we added the extra challenge to manoeuvre the wand around the wire by hopping on one leg or closing their eyes and having a friend direct their moves.
The ‘Elastic-band board’, was a large board on which participants created pictures with elastic bands. The board was particularly well received in Hackney, with an empty board being completely populated within 2-3 hours by children and grownups alike; images morphing from one to another as participants reused the elastic bands provided.
The structures were very well received in the community, with comment ranging from:
“ It’s the new craze on the Narrow Way.”
“What a nice addition to the street”
“It’s a nice activity for the kids to enjoy outside, away from their computers.”
“Why are you taking them away again?”
Having removed the structures from Hackney Central after a 3 month period we are now looking for a new temporary or permanent home for them.
In conjunction to erecting the structures on the Narrow Way, we ran a community event where we got children from the area to paint the structures to give them some colour.
Although we felt a bit guilty sending the kids home covered in paint from head to toe, both kids and parents left with a big smile as the activity allowed the kids to unleash their creativity and go wild in a manner that might otherwise be restricted to them.
A big Thank You to the children living in Hackney that helped us give some colour to the structures by painting them and to the team that helped the project, including Drew Turner, Stephanie Brestin, Antonio Mirav and Terence Bolger.