An Interactive Playground for Design Learning

Andreea Elena Adam
MArch II 2023
Georgy Karpenko
MArch II 2023
Robert Nilsen
MDes ULE 2023
1 Interacting with the play chips on the surface, superimposed with AR models.

Design for the built environment often involves complex methodologies, iterations, drawings, and programs that limit the participation of parties unbeknownst to the discipline. Bridging the gap, our project Tangible Sandbox (T-Sandbox) seeks to make design more approachable for an audience of all ages. By centering appealing subject matter, a playground, in an easy-to-use and intuitive interface where users can build from the sandbox upwards, the design process becomes more attainable and accessible. No prior knowledge of complex programming nor schooling is required for the user to build their very own playground landscape.

T-Sandbox is a reactive light box that generates playground equipment and landscape at the imagination of its users. Physical play chips that symbolize various playground equipment and forms can be placed on the light surface to instantaneously visualize the objects. With AR technology, the form can be envisioned from perspectives beyond the plan view with the adjacent tablet devices. Underneath the acrylic hood, fiducial markers inscribed beneath each chip are read by a scanner that instantaneously computes geometry to be projected onto the acrylic sheet. A multiplayer game with wider accessibility, T-Sandbox enables participatory design and the creation of a playground at the imagination of all involved.

Project video
2 AR model coordinated with chip through image tracking, chip interaction on board.
3 Surface in action with plan-view playground objects and effects.