URBANJOY - BRINGING JOY TO
The WHISPERHILL is designed by the artist and sculptor Jan
Willem Wartena and has been the starting point from which URBANJOY is
established. During a summer children's festival Fort4kids, artists
were invited to design new playground equipment. The idea was that the
current equipment was boring and with a lack of choice because a lot
was disallowed due to safety measures.
festival the WHISPERHILL
has been presented for the first time.
IT SOUNDS VERY INTERESTING, BUT WHAT IS
The WHISPERHILL consists of
two opposite parabolas in the form of half a dish and the size of a
football goal. If you whisper in the focus of the parabola, the sound
will be reflected to the opposite parabola. Here you can even hear a
smallest whisper so clearly, as if you have headphones on!
is due to the property of the parabola: any sound from the focal point
reflects in a straight line to the
opposite parabola. This
is why you can
communicate over a distance of tens to hundreds of meters. Against this parabolic wall a mound is raised
covered with grass or EPDM-rubber.
DID YOU COM ACROSS THE IDEA?
Actually I have looked at the park nearby,
how it was used, by whom and who not and what I could contribute. On each moment of the day you can see a
different group. Very diverse and everyone on there own way. When the
school get out you see children play, yell, cross with a bike and
playing soccer. When you take a closer look you see boys
and girls each playing there own game. The same you see with adult,
senior or people with a handicap. Soccer is mostly for tough boys
and adult. The other groups do not have much
commitment with the play area.
And that was what I just want to achieve:
A broader commitment from all age with the play environment. Therefore the way to play in the area
should not be prescribed in one direction.
A interesting play area invites to a
imaginative play and give way to own initiative.
In the same time the area should meet the need for the most favorite
sport- and play activities like climbing and soccer. With a multi
functional play equipment more people will have commitment with the
play area, but there has also to be some surprise, an educative aspect.
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE A WHISPERHILL YET?
That's right, I also wanted to do
something with the distance and the aspect of the landscape. Not
by putting a separate object in the field which makes it more filled,
but by absorbing the landscape into the object. 1+1=3 Free space has a
important function in our crowded cities.
From the idea of experiencing space,
distance and to bridge distance, distance between people and connecting
people, I remembered Teylers Museum in Haarlem NL. As a little child I
had wondered about a parabola with in the focal point a pocket watch
which could be heard at the other side of the room. I found it
attractive to share the astonishment and the educational, communicative