The play blocks hit the streets! Community collaboration in Stokes Croft

Today, we started the first of a 10 day dissemination-intervention programme in the Bearpit (a sunken roundabout in Stokes Croft, Bristol).  Working with Henry Shaftoe and the Bearpit Improvement Group over the last few months, we developed an unusual, performative outreach initiative involving large-scale ‘play blocks’ and public space.  Our project sought to address one of the more unfortunate urban design elements – the proliferation of single metal seats – which, while seemingly intended to deter rough sleeping, provide very little by way of conviviality and spoke volumes about the condition and perception of this important public space.   We are hopeful that the play blocks will challenge some of the perceptions of the Bearpit as dangerous and derelict and provide us with an opportunity to speak to people about activism, creative practice and communities along the way.  We are also hopeful that the blocks will find a permanent home in Stokes Croft.