Media Contact:

Jill Asher, Magical Bridge Foundation
Phone: (650) 520-8512

Innovative Magical Bridge Playground to be featured at The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019

Palo Alto, CA  January 20, 2019 — The Magical Bridge Foundation announced today that the Magical Bridge Playground will be highlighted in the exhibition ACCESS+ABILITY at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, January 22 – 25 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Originally organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, this adaptation of ACCESS+ABILITY is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the World Economic Forum.

A large-scale photograph and video of the Magical Bridge Playground are presented in the exhibition as one of 20 products, projects and services developed to finally meet the needs of people living with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities and expand everyone’s ability to lead independent lives and engage more fully in the world. Installed in the Congress Centre, the exhibition will be offered alongside panels, workshops and other sessions organized by the Forum that highlight the need to build a more inclusive society. On this global stage, Silicon Valley’s Magical Bridge demonstrates how universal playground design benefits everyone.

“Magical Bridge is proud to be recognized as an innovator and advocate for inclusive play,” said Olenka Villarreal, founder of Magical Bridge Foundation. “It is a great honor to be a part of Cooper Hewitt’s incredible exhibit on this prestigious global stage. As leaders from around the world consider the benefits of universal design, Magical Bridge Foundation is excited to showcase an innovative new kind of public play space.”

ACCESS+ABILITY will also feature artist Jen Lewin’s “Magical Harp,” an outdoor interactive instrument that visitors to the Magical Bridge Playground play by passing their bodies through a 24 low-voltage diode LEDs which shines from the top of the delicate arch to the ground. The harp allows everyone to experience the joy of music with gentle, calming and welcoming sounds.

“Cooper Hewitt is honored to collaborate with the World Economic Forum and bring design’s life-changing impact to the top leaders of our global society,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “Equal access is a human rights issue affecting over one billion people with disabilities globally and the Forum is committed to setting new standards for inclusion in 2019.”

The World Economic Forum brings together over 3,000 participants from government, international organizations, business, civil society, media, culture, as well as the foremost experts and young people from all over the world. With this year’s theme, Globalization 4.0: Creating a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, participants will focus on identifying new ideas and solutions to ensure that any further global integration will be more inclusive and sustainable. Organizers have highlighted that the need to bolster inclusion for the 1 billion people in the world living with a disability will be a main message at the 2019 Forum.

For more information about The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019, click here.

Videos about Magical Bridge participating in The World Economic Forum:

  • A video from the floor of The World Economic Forum’s ACCESS+ABILITY exhibit, highlighting Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto and Jen Lewin’s Laser Harp.
  • A video created by Magical Bridge Foundation, showcasing the inclusive and universally designed Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto. This video is showing at the ACCESS+ABILITY exhibit at The World Economic Forum.
  • A video created by Jen Lewin highlighting the sounds and enjoyment of laser harp at the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California.
  • A video about Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, with open and closed captions.
  • A video about what Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto means to park visitors.


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 25,000 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.

About Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 B.C. to contemporary 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls, and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection.