Things used in this project
lostplayground: Toy with your emotions.
Nostalgia: Swing back to your childhood.
Nostalgia In Action
Nostalgia Outfitted in Hardware
The Process and The Hardware
Researching Playgrounds & Swings
The Future of Nostalgia
In its first iteration, Nostalgia is a swing that plays songs (mostly TV show themes) from the swinger's childhood. Nostalgia in its current form is aimed at college-aged students, with the sounds hailing from the 90s. The goal of Nostalgia is that the higher and longer a person swings, the farther back in time they are transported through their memories and nostalgia for childhood. In this way, we aim to remind people to find time for playfulness in their lives (just like stumbling across Nostalgia) and to change the meaning of old playground toys to people who think they've simply grown up and grown out of their youth.
In the future, we hope to create a Nostalgia experience that fits the Experiential Overview at the top of this page: an experience that is tailored to each swinger, combining not only TV show themes but music, old advertisements, and other sounds that are reminders of the specific person's past. Nostalgia is just one of many products lostplayground hopes to perfect in order to get people's emotions going and people's brains thinking.
lostplayground: Toy with your emotions.
Keynote Presentation Link
Lost Playground Keynote PresentationNote that the typography is incorrect in this version of the presentation.
It's a cold spring night, with a gibbous moon lighting the night and you're walking through the redwood groves to get home. Little do you know, your presence causes a beam of light to your right in the groves. You glance over and see a mysterious swing that begins to oddly sing as its chain links chime in unison and the metal grinds the tree giving it support. The allure of this life-like swing has stopped you stone-still and the green seat reminds you of a once loved thrill.
You walk over and sit down when the beam disappears and a familiar sound starts to sing. The music that plays can't help but bring you to reminisce of that first kiss. It changes and is from that TV show you'd never miss when you were in middle school. And again to that painful diss he'll never rescind. Swaying back and forth nothing else matters because you're fully present but completely lost in some form of past. The higher you swing the further you're taken back.
Each song is an emotional snack. The feeling of speed and cold wind sway your hair like the leaves of the tree as your heart feels a tease. Your hands feel smaller. The world around you looks bigger. You reach the peak and start feeling weak just as you reach that understood self. You want to go higher but you can't. You want to bring back more but only the sound unlocks the thought. You want to be a kid again in a playground of life's time. Suddenly you're back where you started, the swing is gone, and you continue on the path as time ticks on.
The Product Line
LogoFor the logo, we were inspired by abandoned amusement parks especially like the horse here. Usually, horses are in a large group on a carousel. We created a logo with a solitary horse to emphasize the emotions brought about by our product line.
Typeface>We went with a round, friendly typeface which seems very child-like and playful.
Colors>Our colors are bright, fun and youthful. We want them to entice people to interact with our products. The color names are purposely ironic to display the true feelings brought about by our brand.
The Swing>Green is the color of new beginnings and fresh starts. Thus, we chose it to represent the Nostalgia. We wanted the brightness of the green seat to be contrasted by the rusty, grotesque chains. The aesthetic of the swing was inspired highly by abandoned playgrounds and parks.
For the swing itself, we were very lucky. Originally, we wanted to build our own swing from scratch using wood and rope. One of our teammates, however, happened to find a free swing on the side of the street. We used this to our advantage and spent time cleaning it up and incorporating hardware onto it.
Step by Step
Step 1: Build (or Find) a Swing
You can either build a swing using a blank of wood and ropes, or happen to come across a plastic swing with chains like we did. Make sure that the chains/rope is at least over 12 feet long, because you will want to wrap it around when the swing is hanging.
Step 2: Wash/Paint the Swing
If the swing is found on the sidewalk, definitely wash it with soap and water for a very long time. Wash the chains as well. Then, for any swing, you will want to paint it so that it is more enticing to the audience. We spray-painted our swing green to fit our branding colors.
Step 3: Design a Company Logo
Our company, lostplayground, was branded onto the swing seat using white vinyl. This way, the swing would be unique to us, and not just any old swing. We let this sit and made sure not to bend the seat of the swing overnight so that the vinyl wouldn't tear or move.
Step 4: Build the Circuits
For Nostalgia, the swing that takes you through your past, we needed a circuit that utilized an accelerometer, a flex sensor, and sound. The flex sensor would know when someone was sitting on the seat, and then turn on the accelerometer. The accelerometer would changes what sounds played based on the acceleration of the person swinging.
We divided this task up between people and each worked on a smaller part of the circuit. By doing this, you get to understand better how the input or output functions, but it is much more challenging to find out how to connect all the circuits together.
Step 5: Attach Hardware to Swing
We attached the Arduino and breadboard to the bottom of the swing using heavy-duty tape, and attached the speaker (in a cardboard tube resonance chamber) low on the chain handles using ties. The speaker was soldered to a longer wire so that it could still attach to the breadboard. In the case of our project, the flex sensor and Arduino did not work with the sound circuit, so we added a button that could turn on the sound for us.
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