The brief by ‘Art for the World’ was to design a playground for children who have experienced war and destruction and who have been robbed of the experience of childhood. This playground challenges the traditional model of robustness.
Inspired by a passage in the movie ‘Stalker’ by Tarkovsky the poet tells the scientist in the ruins of a nuclear disaster that ‘life is fragile and soft and death is hard and strong’.
It is a cube of 5 metres and made of suspended yellow fabric which oscillates with wind and weather like being in a cornfield. Children who have experienced such devastation will understand the softness of this experience, and see it as a place of escapism and reflection, optimism and wonder.
Sited outside a school in south east London as a prototype the playground structure and fabric can be modified to suit the particular site conditions in war torn/devastated areas of the world.
Peckham, SE London, 2004
collaboration with Shirazeh Houshiary