For the last several years, Danish design firm MONSTRUM (previously) has constructed wildly imaginative playscape features for playgrounds around the world with an intense focus on both artistic and architectural quality. The playgrounds are designed and built locally in their large studio just outside Copenhagen and then shipped in components to sites around Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and even Dubai. The design studio has a strong background in theatrical set design which lends itself to their thematic playscapes, one of our recent favorites being the “Justin Beiver” playround in Partille, Sweden. Collected here is a sampling of designs from the last few years, but you can see more on their website.
In 2005 Kito Fujio quit his job as an office worker and became a freelance photographer. And for the last 12 years he’s been exploring various overlooked pockets of Japan like the rooftops of department stores, which typically have games and rides to entertain children while their parents are shopping. More recently, he’s taken notice of the many interesting cement-molded play equipment that dots playgrounds around Japan.
The sculptural, cement-molded play equipment is often modeled after animals that children would be familiar with. But they also take on the form of robots, abstract geometric forms and sometimes even household appliances. Fujio’s process is not entirely clear, but it appears he visits the parks at night and lights up the equipment from the inside, but also from the outside, which often creates an ominous feel to the harmless equipment.
Speaking of harmless, the nostalgic cement molds have been ubiquitous throughout Japan and, for the most part, free of safety concerns. That’s because the cement requires almost no maintenance; maybe just a fresh coat of paint every few years. The telephone (pictured below) is evidence of how long ago the equipment was probably made.
The sculptural cement equipment was a style favored by Isamu Noguchi, who designed his first landscape for children in 1933. Many of his sculptural playground equipment can be found in Sapporo but also stateside at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Fujio has made his photographs available as part of a series of photobooks (each priced at 800 yen) that he sells on his website. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Norwegian artist Lene Kilde seeks inspiration in the emotions of children, deftly capturing brief moments in their lives distilled into minimalistic wire mesh sculptures. The pieces focus almost entirely on the hands and feet of her subjects that dissolve into nothingness as they go about various activities. This is not to suggest anything is inherently missing, but rather to invite the viewer to complete the rest of each sculpture in their mind, perhaps substituting the missing fragments with their own memories or stories.
Kilde completed a masters degree in product design in 2012 and was subsequently awarded a three-year work scholarship from the Norwegian Arts Council. She is currently represented by Galleri Ramfjord where you can find more of her figurative sculptures.
An artist is turning his 6-year-old son Dom’s wild imagination and childlike drawing skills into realistic renderings of animals and cars, transforming rough sketches into Photoshop masterpieces. The father and son pair have a project titled Things I Have Drawn, an account that chronicles their collaborative illustrations of misshapen dolphins, wobbly vehicles, and laughing lions. In addition to their drawings, Dom’s father also makes up rhymes for each of his son’s creations, bringing a storybook quality to each strange and endearing work. You can see more of their animal portraits on their Instagram @thingsihavedrawn. (via Designboom)
Tasarım Takarım (I Wear Design) is a Turkish jewelry company that converts children’s illustrations into finely crafted silver and gold jewelry. The project was first started two years ago by artists Yasemin Erdin Tavukçu and Özgür Karavit, who saw the opportunity to turn a simple doodle into timeless decorative object, not unlike bronzing a child’s baby shoes or capturing their handprints in clay. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and often requires special tools or means of production to faithfully replicate the intricacies of a child’s scribbles. You can follow their work on Instagram and Etsy. (via HuffPo)
Elementary students at Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol arrived this morning to discover an eye-opening new mural by Banksy that appeared sometime in the night, but the placement wasn’t random: the building itself is used for a house bearing elusive street artist’s name. Several weeks ago the school held a competition to rename houses and the winners were Brunel, Blackbeard, Cabot and Banksy (the artist’s work first appeared in the city in the early 1990s). When the students returned from half-term they found the new mural on a blank wall of the building.
The new piece depicts a scribbled figure of a child playing with a stick and hoop, but the hoop has been replaced with a giant flaming tire. Perhaps not the inspirational motif you’d expect to adorn a primary school, but we imagine it must be inline with their sense of humor. The mural was also accompanied by a fantastic note:
“Dear Bridge Farm School, thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Much love, Banksy.”
(via Arrested Motion)
Photo by Jon Kay
Photo by Jon Kay
Photo by Jon Kay