Assemble, a design collective, in collaboration with British artist Simon Terrill, recreated three British Brutalist playground designs in a gallery space in the Royal Institute of British Architecture. The space was filled with full sized replicas of concrete objects using reconstituted foam.
Using pastel pink, blue and green, they created stairs, slides, platforms and slopes. In particular they replicated a large sloping platform from the Churchill Gardens in Pimlico. Inspired by the hexagonal steps from the original playground, large hexagon blocks were created, free to be picked up, played with and moved around.
Using foam, a much safer and more commonly used material for indoor play areas, was a way of bringing up, and questioning, how children play today. The restraints of health and safety may have an adverse effect on children in the future. Isn’t risk important in play, as an example, falling over teaches balance? Playing is just as much about having fun and learning to play with others as it is about interacting and communicating with your own body.