Designer: Eric Schuldenfrei, Marisa Yiu
ESKYIU PLAYKITS is a temporary exhibition, permanent playground, public dialogue, film, performance, and publication which investigates architecture at the intersection of multiple disciplines. In PLAYKITS, creating a sustainable design is positioned as a catalyst for innovation, proscribing not a reductionistic mindset but a maximizing one. Doing more with a finite resource, each element transforms into another – for instance, several track and field hurdles become a chair for the public dialogue, and components of musical instruments for the performance. The idea is to create an exhibition space as a transforming public space, bringing divergent communities together to make use of a collective resource.
The position is that resources do not necessarily need to belong to an individual, they may have productive lives beyond each of us. Materials within the exhibition transform over time, from a water bottle to a shoe, to a temporary exhibition with numerous configurations, and finally to a permanent playground. A primary question considered is how to reconceptualize the idea of ownership – how to recapture the hundreds of thousands of discarded bottles and transform them into shoes, or to take over 50,000 shoes to turn them into material for a temporary exhibition that eventually transforms into a permanent playground for a local school. These are not technical questions of establishing recycling collection points and recycling centers. Instead, this project investigates larger cultural questions of how to reposition recycling away from something that one must do, an obligation, into a unique creative challenge.
Invited to create a retrospective exhibition on our design work, we proposed a ‘projective retrospective’ illustrating how we are shaped by our past work to project a new future. Instead of limiting the exhibition focus to design, we purposefully included elements of music, sports, and dialogue to reach a wider audience. We collectively worked with our prior collaborators in the disciplines of film, music, athletics, and numerous divergent fields in order not to create an isolated, reductionistic, investigation of an idea to prove a position, but as the means to test an inclusive design which responds to a diverse range of criteria and use.