All Urban discusses why play sculptures are key to the future of our outdoor public spaces.
Our public spaces are more important today than ever. Once a part of towns and cities that many would take for granted or barely give a second thought to, in 2020, outdoor public spaces became crucial to social interaction, virtually overnight. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our outdoor public spaces provided a place for urban residents to safely spend time out of their homes and with others.
People and communities have had to reassess the environments in which we live. At All Urban, we want to see public realms that reflect these changes and meet the demands of our new normal.
Being forced out of our usual routines and indoor habits and spaces has made us realise that we need flexible, multifunctional and accessible areas in our cities.
Creating inclusive public spaces
Imagine a space that can adapt to the rhythm of the day. Somewhere people can work whilst their children play, where teenagers and elders alike can exercise, relax or meet others.
One company that is striving to meet the rising demand for sustainable and inclusive public spaces is moveART, a brand we are proud to have in our portfolio. Founded by Norbert Roztocki in 2015, the Swiss-based company designs play sculptures that encourage and facilitate many uses, creating stunning pieces of functional art.
moveART’s latest pieces, ‘The Eye’ and ‘The Circle’, are built for our contemporary way of living. Both could be seen in one of Europe’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions; the eighth Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture’s Bad RagARTz, which ran from May through to October 2021.
Versatile, functional and durable art
The Circle is the first moveable object by moveART. The sculpture sits on a circular rail, hence the name, and can be pushed around its axis to suit the different needs of the user.
The capabilities and configurations are endless. The Circle combines different functions, which are often contrasting, such as work and play, or exercise and relaxation, and it targets different user groups whose needs aren’t typically considered and met together. For example, a businessman looking to catch up on emails and a family wanting to spend time together and play. Features, such as its table, mean The Circle can be used simultaneously as an outdoor workspace and a playground.
The Circle offers an interesting solution to the new issues we face and the need for adaptable outdoor spaces for work, leisure and socialisation. This sculpture can be sat on, lounged on, walked on and climbed on; it is versatile and durable. Offering something for everyone, the brilliance of this piece lies in the creativity of the user. Plus, it provides a stunning visual contribution to the landscape.
In a world where outdoor living and working is both an expectation and may continue to be a requirement, having adaptable pieces like this within the public realm is essential.
Meeting changing requirements through movement
As the past 18 months have shown, the demands of public spaces change. Flexibility is therefore key when designing for the public realm. Combine three or more ‘circles’ and you give users something with which they can freely and creatively shape their environment. Circles twist so people can move closer together, further apart (an important characteristic nowadays), or somewhere in between. They can also adapt to the position of the sun, so the user can move the circles into or out of the light as needed.
There are both social and natural aspects to this system. Most importantly, users are empowered to use their imaginations to shape their own public space. The moveability of the circles gives people the power to transform their environment into something truly personal.
Whilst this is normally the job of the landscape architect, moveART has handed freedom and choice to the user in a very safe way.
At All Urban, we are confident that highly-adaptable and interchangeable products like this are the future of a public space that can adjust depending on the user’s needs.
With pieces like The Circle and The Eye from moveART, the vision of the public realm looks very exciting indeed. We can see the coming together of a global shift to increased outdoor living and interactions, with the need for empowerment and choice for the user. Innovative and flexible designs combine these requirements seamlessly and create real joy for the user.
Designs for life
Since joining the All Urban designer brand portfolio in 2019, moveART’s line of innovative and bespoke play sculptures has grown and grown. The design of the sculptures is inspired by the double helix (DNA), which stands for the origin of life and its metamorphosis.
Made from 100% ecological and sustainable Accoya wood, which comes with Cradle to Cradle Gold certification, moveART sculptures are particularly robust, low maintenance and are designed to be very vandalism-proof.
We are excited to supply moveART sculptures to our clients and welcome further conversations about the products explored here and the wider range – now considered key components in the future of outdoor play.