Berlin-based inventors Martin Binder and Claudio Rimmele believe that parents shouldn’t have to make the choice whether or not to let their children enjoy a playground in a world changed by COVID-19. In the early days of the pandemic, Binder, a designer and artist, and Rimmele, a psychologist and publicist, noticed a shift in the playgrounds of their city. Where there were once lively, laughter-filled spots in the city were now forbidden and barren because of necessary precautions in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

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3D-model of round wood platforms arranged in a cluster

The two understood the importance of playgrounds for developing children’s social skills and improving mental health. Six weeks later, they found their solution in Rimbin, an infection-free playground concept inspired by nature and influenced by Berlin parents.

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two round wood platforms with separate entrances

The concept calls for a separate play platform for each child and a playground path leading to each area with a separate entrance. The platforms are large enough for children or siblings of the same household to stay together, far enough from unfamiliar children to ensure social distancing, yet open enough for kids to communicate and play games from a safe distance. Features in between the platforms, such as speaking tubes, horizontal ladders and seesaws, offer interaction without the need for physical contact. Surface areas, handles and tubes would be made of metal materials that are easy to sterilize, and permanent disinfectant dispensers would be installed for parents if they’d like to clean as an additional safety precaution.

wood path leading to a ladder up to a small round wood platform

Inspiration for the playground and platforms came from biology and nature, according to the designers. The play areas were created to imitate the leaves of the Amazon water lily, inspired by the 1849 project conducted by biologist Joseph Baxton where he placed his young daughter in the water lily leaves to demonstrate their strength and carrying power.

two wood walkways leading to individual sand pits

Rimmele and Binder hope that the concept will allow the children of the future to continue to enjoy the social interactions, creativity and imagination that playgrounds helped encourage before the pandemic.

+ Martin Binder

Images via Martin Binder

3D-model of kids playing on round wood platforms