This project was aimed at making local parks inclusive, especially for its elderly visitors, and to bring about a form of entertainment and a tool for socialization and unification among the masses that visit the park on a daily basis.
Parks around residential Yelahanka, Bengaluru were in context and the user behaviour was carefully studied. Visitors of all socio-economical backgrounds, and of all ages frequent the parks everyday. The idea of putting a chessboard in the park was chosen - it acts as a nostalgic and widely known method of socializing, not just between the elderly, but all ages.
Putting a game board in a public place had its own hurdles. The biggest one: theft and vandalism.
The solution to this problem was making the chess pieces secure with the board having a transparent covering. Each piece comes with a magnet on its top surface and this is how the pieces move - they are controlled by the user's magnet, which is attached to the outer surface of the board. The board has larger squares to facilitate the movement of the pieces and designated space on each side for accumulating captured pieces.
The transparent case on the board is removable. In case a magnet ceases to work or a piece topples, the park authority (caretaker) can unlock the case and fix it back.
This prototype is made of a 1-inch thick wooden ply and the case is made by putting together transparent acrylic sheets. The chess pieces in this prototype are made of cartridge sheet cubes, carefully encasing the magnet.