University of Twente Student Theses


Design of a playground equipment line with a natural look

Young, David (2013) Design of a playground equipment line with a natural look.

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Abstract:This report describes the design process of a play equipment line with a natural look. The assignment is carried out at play and sports equipment supplier Yalp, a subsidiary of Lappset. Yalp mainly supplies playground equipment to municipalities and schools. In recent times Yalp noticed that there is increasing demand for playgrounds with a focus on ‘natural play’. Therefore there is also increasing demand for products that fit into these play areas including playground equipment. Competitors of Yalp already provide products in this segment. Yalp also wants to respond to this trend. Currently Yalp has an traditional unpainted modular playground equipment line (called Clover), which is presented for the trend of natural play. The problem with this line is that this line is not designed for natural play and it looks industrial and rigid. Therefore, a new product line needs to be designed, which is based on Clover, so that not everything needs to be re-designed. Also, the natural look should stand out from the competition. Before the design phase, an analysis has been made about the company Yalp/Lappset and the products line Clover. For this analysis the factories of Lappset in Finland has been visited and a few play sets have been installed on playgrounds in order to find out how the current system works and to find out what could be useful for the design process. Because natural play is a broad concept an analysis is made on the trend of natural play. For this analysis the ideas of various stakeholders are outlined to see how Yalp can anticipate on the trend. Also the safety requirements of playground equipment are examined. These are so many that not all of them are included in this report. Instead, together with the information of the analysis, nine design goals are set up, which will serve as a guideline during the design process. For the design of the play equipment line is chosen to begin with the design of a multi activity playset. This playset contains elements that are repeated in other products of the line. Sketches were made to generate ideas. From these sketches not only ideas for the multi activity playset came up, but also for other products and add-ons. From the sketches a selection has been made of ideas, which matches the design goals, these ideas are then combined into one concept. Subsequently, the concept of the multi activity playset is developed in CAD. This gave a good impression of how it would look like. In order to make a better assessment a prototype has been made of a part of the playset in a Lappset factory in Finland. With the feedback that came from the prototype the playset is further developed and additional tests has been made. Then drawings were made to make a prototype of the total playset (in the future). To create a complete line of play equipment, products were designed, which contribute to the diversity of play values , such as turning, climbing, swinging, tumbling, balancing. Therefore the following products were added: climbing tree, chinning bars, carousel, balance beam(s), trail, step elements, climbing frame, swings and a more advanced multi activity playset. Of each product the design process is described. In order to match the products of the line to each other, many elements were taken over from the multi activity playset, such as the organic shapes and the color of the wood. In addition the elements of Clover are used as much as possible, so that the development time can be reduced and to prevent the production process to undergo major changes. In order to present the line a brochure is made with the twelve new products. This brochure which layout is based on the corporate identity of Lappset also gives an idea how the line can be presented in the market. Finally, the design of the final playground equipment line is evaluated using the nine (sub) goals that had been established previously. It can be concluded that all goals are met or can be met with further development; therefor recommendations were drawn up per product, which can be taken in the continuation of the development process. The end result is a modular playground equipment line, which is distinctive from the competition and blends well in a natural environment.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Yalp, Goor, Nederland
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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