SWING PUT UP AT KENT AND SLATER BUS SHELTER
OTTAWA, ON
 Slater and Kent
PLAYGROUNDnoun  AN OUTDOOR AREA PROVIDED FOR CHILDREN TO PLAY IN, ESPECIALLY AT A SCHOOL OR PUBLIC PARK

AT SOME POINT DURING THE PROCESS OF GROWING UP WE LOSE TOUCH WITH THAT SPONTANEOUS, ADVENTUROUS, PLAYFUL PART OF OURSELVES THAT ONCE DOMINATED OUR CHILDHOOD.  WE ARE PROGRAMMED TO BELIEVE IT IS NO LONGER APPROPRIATE TO PLAY AS WE USED TO.

THE AIM OF THE IMPROMPTU PLAYGROUND IS TO REINTEGRATE PLAY INTO URBAN SPACE AND DAILY LIFE BY INSERTING THE PLAY THINGS OF OUR CHILDHOOD IN THE SPACES OF OUR GROWN UP LIFE, SIGNALING PLAY AND BRINGING ATTENTION TO THE JOY, THE FUN, AND THE WHIMSY THAT CAN BE FOUND IN OUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

THESE MINIMAL INTERVENTIONS ENGAGE THE EXISTING POTENTIAL IN THE PLACES WE PASS EVERY DAY THAT LEND THEMSELVES TO THE DESIGN OF THE FAMILIAR PLAYGROUND ELEMENTS.  THEY ARE MNEMONICS REMINDING US THAT PLAY IS ABOUT CURIOSITY, EXPLORATION, CREATIVITY, AND SOCIAL CONNECTION, FURTHER EMPHASIZING THAT PLAY IS POSSIBLE AND PERMISSIBLE, AT ANY AGE.

PLAY MAY BEGIN WITH THE NOSTALGIA OF A SWING, OR OF A TETHER-BALL, OR OF A HOPSCOTCH, BUT PLAY IS INEVITABLY ABOUT THE PRESENT MOMENT.  PLAY DOESN’T REMIND YOU OF WHEN YOU WERE ONCE A CHILD, IT REMINDS YOU THAT YOU STILL ARE.

SO, PAUSE AND PLAY—YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO…

COMMUTER/STUDENT READING ON A SWING WHILE WAITING FOR A BUS AT KENT AND ALBERT BUS STOP
OTTAWA, ON
 Commuter on swing
SWING IN USE AT BANK AND ALBERT
OTTAWA, ON
 swing_bank
“PAUSE & PLAY” HOPSCOTCH
OTTAWA, ON
 hopscotch
HOPSCOTCH AT BANK AND ALBERT
OTTAWA, ON
 hopscotch2
WHAT IS BEING SAID ABOUT THE IMPROMPTU PLAYGROUNDS:LOOK WHAT I FOUND AT LUNCH! (REDDIT OTTAWA)
A BIT OF FUN IN THE CITY (MODERN OTTAWA BLOG)
TAKING A CUE FROM BUS SHELTER WHIMSY (OTTAWA CITIZEN)
BUS SHELTER WHIMSY (OTTAWA CITIZEN BLOGS)
swinging-flipbook_jeff
swinging-flipbook_sarah

August 2011. Centretown, OTTAWA ON.
Self-funded and initiated project.

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