Swing Time at Lawn on D

Posted May 26, 2015 by Lindsey Day in Downtown Boston
Swings at Lawn on D

With Lawn on D open again, summertime is officially here. The amazing Swing Time attraction from last year is back, with some pretty rad new changes. Get a sneak peek at what to expect from this year’s Lawn on D.

Swing Time – What is It?

Basically an adult swing set, Swing Time uses LED technology to illuminate swings and changes the color of their light based on the speed and height of the swing. There are 20 swings at Swing Time, but this is one of the most popular attractions at the Lawn on D, so you might need to wait your turn.

Designed by local architectural firm Höweler + Yoon, Swing Time got an update over the winter. This year’s swing set (Swing Time 2.0, it’s called) will use solar power. It will have the same LED glow as before, but without relying on the energy grid at all.

Speaking of the changes, architect Eric Höweler said that he hopes the eco-friendly update empowers people “to understand the relationships between their actions and the ecology that they are a part of.” Rather than making environmental projects that check sustainable improvements or materials off a checklist, the architects want to educate people about sustainability in creative and impactful ways.

To take Swing Time off the grid, the architects placed a solar cell canopy over the swing set, which included integrated solar panels. The panels are south-facing to capture the most sun. The solar energy is captured and then used to store batteries that power the LED display. When fully charged, the batteries can keep the swings illuminated for up to three full cloudy days.

The architects were inspired to develop Swing Time when thinking about the idea of play and how to get adults to play more. It’s only one of the many creative attractions at Lawn on D, which is an innovative all-ages play space.

The swings themselves are made of welded polypropylene and come in three different sizes, so folks of all ages can play. Every swing has a built-in accelerometer and micro-controller so the speed and height can be gauged. When the swings are empty, they take on a white glow. When the swings are moving, the glow turns to purple; the intensity changes with the speed and height of the swing.

If You Visit the Lawn on D 

The Lawn on D is located next to BCEC, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. As you might expect from a public park located in the Innovation District, the Lawn on D offers a public art and performance space where curiosity and technology meet in the form of interactive art pieces like Swing Time. To get to the Lawn on D, take the Silver Line to the World Trade Center Station or take the Red Line to South Station or Broadway and walk.

Lawn on the D Art Exhibit

Art exhibit at Lawn on D.

The Lawn on D is always introducing new events, attractions, and exhibitions. Summer programming includes a Friday lunch break series featuring local musicians from the Berklee College of Music, art installations from the D Street ArtLab, and food truck and cash bar festivities. The Lawn on D website is the best place to track upcoming events and plan your visit.

Side note: The Lawn on D is available to rent for corporate outings and parties, so if you want to be the hero, you know what to do.

Have you been to the Lawn on D yet? If so, let us know what your favorite part of this unique park experience was. If not, now’s the perfect time!