A co-design process for re-imagining public spaces
In September 2014, Merton Council and Love Wimbledon, in collaboration with the Design Council, organised Future Wimbledon ideas competition, which call community organisations and professionals to propose a vision for the transformation of Wimbledon Town Centre for 2030, which coincided with the arrival of Crossrail 2 to Wimbledon Station.
Lugadero won the competition with the scheme titled PLAY WIMBLEDON, which proposed a co-design process in which playful activities and installations in the public space would encourage people to engage in making collective decisions on the future of Wimbledon Town Centre.
PLAY WIMBLEDON proposes a gamification strategy to encourage the emergence of new public spaces in the heart of Wimbledon through playful activities. A public space appears when a place has certain features that motivate citizens to develop activities there, play on it, or just stay there and relax. Aldo van Eyck, in post-war Amsterdam, designed and built numerous playgrounds in bombed sites, empty plots or in spaces between tower blocks to recover the use of the public realm in a city that had suffered the devastation of the war. Van Eyck used the strategy of introducing games in the public realm to motivate its continuous use and to make a more enjoyable city. Following the example of van Eyck, our strategy proposes the installation of a series of devices that catalyse the appearance of playful activities in the public realm: structures to access the rooftops, escalators, a big dome, gigantic slides, playground structures, interactive games, sports, small open-air theatres, outdoor cinemas, and other devices that induce the appearance of new public spaces in unexpected places.
Co-design Process 2018/2019
Between October 2018 and March 2019, we carried a co-design process for new public spaces in Wimbledon, which built on this idea of encouraging engagement through play and temporary installations that test potential uses of the public realm.
St Mark’s Place and the junction in New Wimbledon Theatre presented the possibility of testing Play Wimbledon’s idea of encouraging participation in the design of the public spaces through playful activities and temporary installations. These temporary installations had the objectives of testing different possibilities on how these new public spaces could be, acting as meanwhile uses for theses places, and hosting the co-design workshops. The playful installations attracted people to the workshops and encouraged them to participate. As a result of the process, we proposed concept design for these two public spaces, which were discussed in meetings with residents and local businesses.
Urban designers running the co-design process
Structural engineer for installations: Sergio Lorca
Team at Merton Council responsible for the project
Coordination of local businesses workshop
Bell Sally Warren
Contractors for installations