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BOULEvard

BOULEvard

Playing in the city means playing in a place ruled by limitations and borders caused by infrastructure and ist users. Day to day traffic and circulation shrinks safe & playable space for children to a minimum. For the 2014 Kanal Playground festival in Brussels ONOFF were asked to consider this issue. We responded with the BOULEvard, a large mobile playground which rolls its way through the streets and squares of the city. The BOULEvard allows kids to carve a new joyful path through their urban environment, because this mobile play-area crosses typical stops like roads and no-play zones and so claims space back for a temporary takeover of everyday space for action. But the BOULEvard ball has a split personality. On the one hand, it looks like a fascinating object, intriguing both as an object or as overgrown street furniture with an instruction manual. But on the other hand, it has a distinct mission in the city, the BOULEvard is part of an urban strategy: testing the urban scope! This split is exciting. Connecting the micro – a strange object built with collective energy – to the macro – a city, where we act out our everyday – is a powerful experiment. DoItYourself is not limited to furniture scale – it can conquer and disrupt an entire city, when it’s thought, shared and experienced collectively.
The BOULEvard is based on a tensegrity structure, using large plastic tubing as the core struts and high tension rope as the method of connection. Therefore the structure is robust, flexible, sustainable and safe – making it perfect for rolling through the city. Furthermore, it is easy to assemble and can be bundled compactly, which allows us to ship to cities all over the world, so that every child can experience how to overcome the thresholds and barriers put in place for cars and bikes by rolling over them and recapturing the city as a giant playground!

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