Samuel Fausch wants to build a playground on Lake Zurich, where it can be enjoyed by people who are really too old for swings.

In his office in Oerlikon, Samuel Fausch bends over a plastic device that looks like a spider with its legs glued on to two slabs of concrete. “The structural analysis is still giving me a bit of a headache,” says Fausch, jiggling the frame. “I need to get an engineer to do the calculations.”

He’s talking about his invention: a massive floating swing made from wood and metal. At the moment, it exists only in the form of a plastic model on a table in an office, but if everything goes according to plan it will soon be floating on Lake Zurich, or another lake in Switzerland.

ausch came up with the idea while playing with his children at Josefwiese park in Zurich. He watched the kids as they swung back and forth on the swings. He would have liked to have had a go himself, to really get some momentum happening. And then jump off mid-swing. Then again, he thought, the playground is probably not the best place for it, because there’s only gravel to land on – water would be much better.

Fausch is stocky man with a thick beard who knows all the ins and outs of metal construction. His company produces fireplaces, garden furniture, school benches... just about anything that has to be milled and welded. He searched the internet to see if anyone else had come up with an idea similar to his water swing, but did not find anything – instead he found videos of children sliding off swings and falling on to the ground.

“I think the idea has potential, because you can take much bigger risks if you’re falling into water,” he says.

He designed his swing in accordance with official playground standards. “The specifications are all very precise and I stuck to the rules,” he explains, although he does not know exactly how his construction will behave in the water, as no one has tried it yet. Nevertheless, the swing is definitely not suitable for small children, because one needs to be able to swim to reach the raft on which the swing is mounted. And the raft needs to be far enough away from the shore, so that the surrounding water is deep enough to jump into.

“Of course, I also hope that people use it as a place to hang out,” he says. The raft is not only intended as a playground, but as a place to meet up on the lake.

However, he doesn’t know if there is a market for such a product. “I think it’s a great idea,” he says, “but what does everyone else think? That’s what I plan to find out.”

In short: what’s it all about?

Jumping off a swing at full speed – Samuel Fausch has always thought this was a brilliant idea, ever since he was a little boy. This childhood dream motivated the metal worker and backyard inventor to develop a new kind of play equipment. Now he’s looking for splash-happy crowd funders to help him put his idea into action.


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