Anyone who has ever gone shopping with children knows the difficulty in keeping them entertained. Created as a dual-purpose information and entertainment kiosk, the Waku Waku Station at LaLaport Toyosu gives children a safe area to play while parents look up information. The brightly colored station, whose name literally translates to ‘excitement,’ was commissioned by Mitsui Real Estate to drum up interest and ‘excitement’ for the surrounding area, an emerging neighborhood in Tokyo.
The Waku Waku Station was built as a modular system of building blocks, inviting children to change the design as they play. The pieces of the station resemble the homes, yachts, and buildings in the surrounding harbor, which according to the designers behind the station, Torafu Architects, serves as a visual reminder of the kiosk’s information purposes:
By resizing building blocks which anyone can easily imagine, the booth itself becomes a poster for events, thereby producing an extraordinary sight in the middle of the shopping mall.
The Waku Waku Station not only promises to make shopping trips more enjoyable for children, but also provides others with a new way to think about information kiosks. The hybrid, interactive model could find good use in other high-traffic areas that are traditionally not kid-friendly; one that comes to mind during the season of holiday travel is an airport customer service desk to help keep kids entertained while parents sort out travel arrangements.