Swingsets? Basketball courts? Dutch interactive design firm Yalp imagines populating futuristic public playgrounds with DJ decks and dance floors, for today’s teens.

First, there’s the Fono DJ booth. It’s an outdoor public DJ booth, steel-cased with 14 light-up touch panels. Add a couple of phones, and kids can stream their own music, using the touch panels to control the settings. (In case you’re afraid your neighborhood is about to turn into a teen Ibiza, the makers emphasize that they let the installer choose maximum volume levels and times when the system shuts down.)

Then, in case you want to dance to the music, there’s the Fono dance floor, which responds to movement with cut-up samples.

The team have also devised benches and storage to encourage young people to hang out.

Somehow, I think this is all meant to keep kids off drugs or out of gangs by DJing in the playground. I have no idea how practical it is, but it’s certainly technologically interesting. The steel casing makes the whole rig waterproof and, the creators claim, vandal-proof. It’s a very different vision of touch technology than what you get on an iPhone or iPad. And everything is solar-powered.

Whether this works as a playground concept, I’m not sure, but it does suggest some possibilities for other outdoor technological interactions in other settings.

And the design itself is fascinating – also a winner of the prestigious 2014 Red Dot design award.

More (Dutch and English):
Fono hangout
Outdoor DJ System

And another video:

There’s also a hands-on video and (Dutch-language) interviews, where we learn that DJs really do nothing but wave their hands in the air and the boys won’t let any of the girls play on the decks… which also means the boys are behind the decks while the girls are dancing on their own. Come on, guys. Ahem.

Thanks to DJ Xtopher [SoundCloud] for this one. And yes – I agree, it is the new Ping Pong.



  • EricM

    LOL, does every sound that comes out it have to be bit-reduced / down-sampled?

    • http://www.richddt.com/ Rich DDT

      Yes, but mainly because it’s using a mic to pickup sounds from cellphone speakers. A very clever, albeit certainly not audiophile-friendly, solution to universal input.

    • EricM

      Ah OK, interesting. I assumed it was “connected” somehow.

  • iLoveEDM

    have no fear, CDM readers. i have been to the future and I can promise you… the parks have not been polluted by this bizarre initiative . you can still hear children’s laughter and, if you listen closely, maybe even a bird or two.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Well, I definitely still like playing on the swings and see-saw, and… yes, all the ravers in Berlin at one point or another have used those huge slides in Görlitzer Park. 😉

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      side note – friends of mine did create a MIDI-enabled see-saw. worked rather nicely…

    • iLoveBerlinOnMayDay

      Ha ha, point taken. :)
      I’ve also had dreams of what it would be like if MIDI controlled the world and they don’t end badly.
      side side note: there are certain parts of Görlitzer Park that would make fantastic back drop for some epic post apocalyptic film. Google tells me many agree.

  • http://www.richddt.com/ Rich DDT

    Check out an entire playground of 16 multiplayer music installations, but in a museum – rather than a park – this Saturday! With Eskmo, Zoe Keating, Moldover, Nonagon, Rich DDT & Smomid playing a LoveTech concert to celebrate!: http://LoveTech.org | http://www.thetech.org/special-exhibitions/rebootmusic-exhibition | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzNrpZ0ibSg

  • bumblefuck