Tag Archive | London

99 Tiny Games in London

Showtime, a free outdoor arts festival in London presented by the Mayor of London and the  London 2012 Festival  just wrapped up “99 Tiny Games” (running from July 28th – August 20th) which spread small games with instructions for individuals and groups in public spaces all over London’s 33 boroughs.

Photo via Pop Up City

Photo via Pop Up City

These games took place in a variety of urban spaces including metro station walls, under archways, near statues and at bus stops.
Showtime says  their motivation for this series was inspired by their “belief that play – as a theme, art form, way of being and design tool – is integral to understanding how culture will develop in the 21st century.”

This is a great example of how we can inexpensively contribute to lively public spaces and joyful experiences in our cities.

Pop Up Swings

Pop Up Swings in London. Photo via Sustainable Cities Collective

Pop Up Swings in London. Photo via Sustainable Cities Collective.

Today I found this image of “Pop Up Swings” installed near bus stop in London. This swing set was designed up industrial design student Bruno Taylor who says: “This project is a study into different ways of bringing play back into public space. It focuses on ways of incorporating incidental play in the public realm by not so much as having separate play equipment that dictates the users but by using existing furniture and architectural elements that indicate playful behaviour for all.”

Similar projects have popped up around the globe (including the more formalized The Red Swing Project) and all tap in to similar ideas. The great thing about installing these delightful swings at a bus stop is that they can help to activate a drab public space by introducing playfulness and they also function as an incentive to ride pubic transportation.

How? Well, you know the expression “time flies when you’re having fun”? Having a joyful activity like to Pop Up Swings to watch or participate in while waiting for the bus will make your wait time seem shorter and shorter wait times incentivize the use of public transportation because the wait will not feel as burdensome (especially if you are accompanied by children, seniors or are carrying a heavy load) and makes the experience of waiting for public transportation less intimidating.