Playing Out: creative interventions and play with Bristol residents


SGSU associate and architect George Lovesmith and SGSU director and artist Ellie Shipman have been collaborating on a project by national play organisation Playing Out around encouraging families to play outside more on housing estates in Redcliffe and Lawrence Hill, Bristol.

George has been leading creative play sessions and co-designing interventions with residents on an estate in Lawrence Hill, leading to willow-fencing being planted as a buffer between the road and the residents’ play area and large-scale play patterns painted on the floor influenced by designs from local children.

Ellie has been leading on creative play sessions in Redcliffe with families and is currently building up to the design workshops stage. Ellie has been inspired by the ‘theory of loose parts’ which advocates for bringing in undefined objects to allow more imaginative play. Through introducing colourful fabric to the play kit the children has been reimagining the space through making new spaces by tying it between trees and columns, off fences and onto themselves! They have become super heroes and dragons, made dens and kept trees prisoner. The families have lots of ideas for improvements to the area, the next steps are to make them happen!