In Balance - 2016 Street Furniture Competition

Photo by Jody Bailey

Photo by Jody Bailey

Admittedly, it's been a few years since I've been out to the annual MADE street furniture competition. This year I returned with a few friends and work-mates, ready to churn out some kind of product we had not yet dreamed up.

We arrived at Sir Winston Churchill Square on a grey-ish morning ahead of the usual hustle-bustle accompanying The Works Festival. Wood materials, scraps and off-cuts along with a select number of fasteners were distributed among the teams. Our goal: to create something to enliven the Square, in a creative and inclusive way. With only hand tools, powered by our four young but not-so-youthful bodies, we set to work.

Not long after the sawdust started flying, the distracting smells of the food vendors along 99 Street drifted across the Square. After lunch we carried on, interrupted by the occasional conversation with strangers and family and friends dropping in to give encouragement. Being the first team to finish, we were able to enjoy the spoils of our labour and efficiency - a hard earned ice cream cone, savoured on a hand-crafted seat.

Our solution was not new. Several teams had attempted a teetering creations in the past. But with recent political decisions and world tragedies, those of people not getting along, or being out of balance, it seemed most fitting to establish a space that invites interaction, respect, motion, and brings us all back to a simpler time. A time of play.

- Tyler Vreeling