IPlay Bench: Minsun Kim
IPlay is a system of public bench attachments designed to transform New York City bench into a social community place to initiate intergenerational interactions, which are no longer easily found in modern cities. IPlay seeks not only to repair relationships between older people and children, but also repair benches themselves which are often in states of decay. IPlay is composed of three individual elements that can either be attached to or replace the existing bench components. The three elements are a talk tube, a xylophone, and tic tac toe. These activities are intuitive and easy to participate in, which can be enjoyed by all age groups. Social interaction between the senior and the child can be extended to the child's parents, caregivers, and other family members, leading to connection to the overall neighborhood community.
IPlay is based on the resources that are already available in urban environments–the benches–and redesigns them to generate social activities bridging seniors and different age groups, bringing a sense of belonging back to senior citizens, and, as a result, building an integrated social model. Currently the project is seeking possibilities for collaboration with the New York City Park department or other regional senior community.
Minsun Kim is an industrial designer, and also a Fulbright recipient of Korea. After completing a Bachelor in electrical engineering, and a minor degree in Industrial Design, she is currently finishing a Master of Industrial Design (MID) program at Pratt Institute. Her design focuses on solving problems to make changes in people’s real lives. Her design process includes research and analysis considering the context of the real life situation and defining underlying issues. By seeking opportunities from the problems, she creates innovation and derives practical solutions.