Bright and bold, London design duo create a super-sized swing set

Published:  August 6, 2014
Lucy Waddington

Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan are busy across the pond, having only recently completed their lovely Temple of Agape in the centre of London, the pair put together a super-sized swing set where visitors are encouraged to lounge and play in a Wakefield garden. Swing It! Is an interactive playground in the grounds of The Orangery, a Grade II listed building in central Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The installation is a component of Playful City – a community arts program from charity, Beam.

The setup includes a collection of handpainted typographic signs, with words like giddy, blackberries and suspend, to remind visitors of a simpler time. Mimicking skeletal scaffolding, aluminium poles are conjoined to form structures that bring an industrial edge to the youthful playground. Entirely responsive with the invitation to be played with, signs and shapes can be moved by pulling mechanical handles or using the swings, some elements are even animated by the breeze. Towering at 10 metres high, the grownup swing set peeks over the garden walls like a colourful fortress inviting passers-by to come and play.

Born from concepts discovered during paper weaving workshops in the company of locals, the project was inspired by the city’s rich textile history. Myerscough explains in the film above that the words used on signs are borrowed from a poem written by Morgan and the result of workshops held with children living in the area. “It’s that idea of picking blackberries in August, and having limitless days of not knowing what to do… those words that just make you think of summer,” she continues, “hopefully, people will relate to the words without any explanation – we want it to be open and friendly and inviting to people.” Open to the public until August 31, The Orangery is also hosting a pop-up café and bar over the summer.

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