Playgrounds are temporary worlds, interiors within the public realm. According to Johan Huizinga, "Inside the playground an absolute and peculiar order reigns. Into an imperfect world and into the confusion of life it brings a temporary, limited perfection.” Shapes of Play aims to liberate the imaginary of the playground from fenced enclaves reserved for children and reimagine them as experimental public spaces for all ages.
Shapes of Play is a 1:1 exhibition of performative, expressive, and tactile play elements designed by students in the Architectural Design department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, led by Studio Ossidiana in collaboration with high-end terrazzo manufacturer Tomaello.
Within a one-month intensive workshop, students learned how to work with concrete, experimenting with different casting processes and formwork techniques and combining pigments, stones, aggregates, and cement, along with hemp, lime, earth clay, and other materials.
The resulting exhibition, taking place in the courtyard of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, contains four architectural elements, each reimagined for play by groups of students: the wall, the column, the platform, and the stair.