Imagine if a world leader like Prince William, Bill Gates or German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Magical Bridge Playground. What would they think as they watched people of all abilities and disabilities laughing and playing together? How would they feel as they passed their bodies through the Magical Harp and heard the cascade of soothing sounds?
Those luminaries won’t have to travel to Palo Alto, California to feel the joy of the innovative inclusive playground. This week, they and thousands of other politicians, bankers, CEOs, and activists attending the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, will have the chance to experience Magical Bridge on a global stage.
As participants at Davos shape the next wave of globalization, a key focus is building a more inclusive society for the 1 billion people in the world living with a disability. The forum is highlighting that message through a major exhibition, ACCESS+ABILITY, designed by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Magical Bridge is one of 20 innovative products, projects, and services featured in the exhibit. Visitors will see a life-size photograph of the Palo Alto playground; watch a 2-minute looping video of special moments from the playground; and have the experience of making music with their bodies by moving under the “Magical Harp.” Brooklyn artist Jen Lewin traveled to Davos to install a traveling version of the permanent installation in Palo Alto.
“The World Economic Forum has such a profound impact on humanity. To be able to leverage Davos as a medium to advance inclusion and kindness is a dream come true,” Magical Bridge founder Olenka Villarreal said.
Besides the exhibit, the forum is holding panels, workshops and other sessions around the topic of design for everyone. In a talk Monday on the Forum stage about the power of inclusive design, Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann highlighted the success of Magical Bridge and underscored the need for more playgrounds that welcome people of all abilities.
Villarreal and co-founder Jill Asher hope the global exposure will inspire just that.
The Magical Bridge Foundation has partnered with playground equipment provider Playworld, which will soon be rolling out Magical Bridge-inspired playgrounds at a more cost-effective price point. (If your city or school is interested, contact us here.)
“Our hope and goal is that more communities will build playgrounds like Magical Bridge or work with Magical Bridge directly,” Asher said. “We are excited to work with communities that value the play needs of everyone and want to build these inclusive places.”
Press Release about Magical Bridge Playground being featured at the World Economic Forum.
About Magical Bridge Foundation
Magical Bridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the heart of Silicon Valley, advocating for and bringing to life innovative and truly inclusive community and school playgrounds. Magical Bridge playgrounds delight and welcome everyone, regardless of ability, disability, size or age. Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto opened to the public in April 2015 and is heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground, welcoming over 25,000 visitors per month. Magical Bridge Playground projects are currently underway in northern California communities of Redwood City, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and the Palo Alto Unified School District. Locations outside the Bay Area for parks and school playgrounds will be announced in 2019. Kindly visit Magical Bridge online and on Facebook and Twitter.