Sectors : Community

Client : Leeds City Council

In summer 2019, during the Yorkshire Sculpture International, over 3,500 visitors to Victoria Gardens in Leeds enjoyed making, dancing, sculpting, singing, painting and storytelling inspired to play in their city centre amongst a bespoke pop up pavilion.

This ambitious project was realised through a collaboration between DLA Design, Leeds City Council and Leeds Art Gallery with support from Leeds BID, Child Friendly Leeds, Leeds Library, Henry Moore Institute and others. ‘Create Sculpt Play’ took place during the Yorkshire Sculpture International Festival, providing a platform for their community outreach work and associate artists.

The pop up pavilion was designed by DLA Design in collaboration with Stage One Ltd – makers of the Serpentine Pavilion & the iconic London 2012 Olympic cauldron, which incorporated an eye-catching structure in vivid red to spark creativity amongst visitors encouraging people to use its physical attributes to build on and hang from interweaving their creations.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Children and Families, said: “In Leeds, we work incredibly hard with our valued partners to make our city Child Friendly. Create Sculpt Play is a free, creative and interactive activity right in the city centre for all the family to enjoy – I am delighted that we are able to offer wonderful opportunities like these that really support our ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to grow up in.”

The seed for this project was sown back in 2015 when DLA Design created a modest temporary ‘parklet’ transforming an ordinary parking space into an inner-city sanctuary located outside theLeeds office. In 2016 this concept grew when DLA installed a more ambitious pocket park and collaborated with neighbours to think about the future design of the street. In the following years this expanded into an exciting collaboration with Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds Council to encourage people to re-imagine their public realm introducing opportunities to play in the city.

Sarah Brown, Principal Keeper, Leeds Art Gallery said “We were delighted to have the chance to work with great partners again building on the success of our previous summer programmes and on the occasion of Yorkshire Sculpture International celebrating sculpture.”

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