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Cloud-shaped swing set provides communal joy for all, with or without wheelchairs

Encircled by trees in a park clearing, Cloud Swing is a lofty blue structure with a cloud-shaped canopy constructed from over 100 feet of curved steel pipe. Suspended from the canopy are five swings — three for sitting on and two that wheelchairs can be rolled into.

While wheelchair-accessible swings have been around for a while, Cloud Swing stands out for two reasons. First, the accessible elements are seamlessly integrated into its sculptural design, a visible demonstration of not being added on as an afterthought. Secondly, while swing sets traditionally have multiple swings lined up in a row, this set's cloud shape encourages its users to face each other, creating an experience of fun and joy that's both inclusive and communal.

Developed by Brooklyn-based Isometric, a queer POC-led graphic design and architecture studio 'advancing inclusion, equity and justice,' Cloud Swing was designed in collaboration with Trina Hazell, an activist and Ms. Wheelchair New York 2018. Hazell played a critical role in the design phase, ensuring the swings were not only accessible but comfortable and safe. Funding was provided by the Wellcome Trust Mindscapes program and INCLUDEnyc. Cloud Swing is currently installed at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.

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Public art and installations that foster outdoor activity are increasingly valued for their positive impacts on mental and physical wellbeing. As Isometric describes, "The rhythm of the swings is meditative and calm, creating a space for healing in a frenetic world." It's also increasingly understood that such initiatives need to cater to everyone. Inclusive design is no longer an optional feature but a fundamental aspect of product and service offerings.

Enabling users to face each other, Cloud Swing's design also taps into a desire for connectedness. By integrating social interaction and collective experiences into spatial design — whether retail spaces, events or even digital platforms — brands can foster stronger community ties and deeper engagement with their audience. How could your organization subtly shift the dynamics of interaction in public spaces?

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