Sense of Play in Rijeka

The project “Sense of Play” brings inclusive design to the Port of Diversity

The inclusive design project “Sense of Play” is now finalized and one of its results is on display in the university campus in Rijeka. The bilateral project has been a collaboration between a leading Norwegian architectural firm, Snøhetta Studio, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) and DeltaLab from Rijeka. Next time you visit Rijeka, visit this unique peace of art!

About the project 

The goal of the bilateral project was the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of the inclusive design and to apply inclusive principles in urban design. The “Sense of Play” installation is one of the project outputs, and has been designed to encourage open-ended play, allowing children to use their creativity and imagination to develop their own games and activities.  The design is based on a child drawing, and was produced by a local craftsman. If you pay particular attention, you will be able to find the contour of a teddy bear hidden within.

The installation is located at the university Campus, connecting it to the residential area on one side, and to the specialized hospital for mother and child, on the other.  In this way, it contributes to the community's inclusiveness to the University's life. By creating a playful and inclusive space, the installation will be a valuable addition to the Rijeka community, promoting social interaction and connecting children of all abilities. 

Apart from the installation “Sense of Play, the project resulted in the establishment of the postgraduate programme in Urban Studies. The programme is offered at the Rijeka University, as an interdisciplinary study of all aspects of urban development: from architecture to city politics and economy. The programme is the first one of its kind in Croatia.  

The "Sense of Play” has been funded as one of the Bilateral Initiatives under the EEA and Norway Grants in Croatia. It was foreseen to be a part of the project Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture, but due to the Covid19-panedemic it was finalized in December 2022. 

The Norwegian partners in the project DOGA and Snøhetta are renewed for their excellence in inclusive design and innovative architectural solutions, respectively.  

What is inclusive design?  

Inclusive design is a type of design that creates products that understand and enable people of all backgrounds and abilities. Inclusive design may address accessibility, age, culture, economic situation, education, gender, geographic location, language, and race. The main goal within this type of design is to contribute to making the user feel like they belong, rather than feeling excluded. Inclusive design principles will be at the heart of the project, ensuring that the installation is accessible to all children regardless of their abilities.