One of the highlights of our recent Reclaiming Design events in New York was Dutch designer Tejo Remy’s presentation. As expected, the Dutch designer spoke about his well known chest of drawers, rag chair, and milk bottle lamp – but he also talked about a few lesser-known projects that wowed us with their playfulness and ingenuity. In particular, his re-interpreted playground fence (shown above) was a real crowd pleaser, and provided an interesting take on “reclaimed” or “recycled” design in which the reuse brought a new interpretation to a vernacular form (the materials may not have been reused, but the language and application was certainly reused and re-invented).

In the charming “Playground Fence”, not only are the protrusions and recessions of the fence eye-catching, but they allow for a more active interaction between those on either sides of the fence, providing seats, benches, nooks and playspaces for children.

Tejo has told us that he’s looking for some public commissions for this type of work, so if you like this idea as much as we do – please get in touch with your city government and put the word out. Who knows…. maybe we can get some of this innovative Dutch design state-side and engage our kids with awesome and inviting public playground fences. Any takers in NY City Hall?

+ Tejo Remy

+ Tejo Remy on Inhabitat

+ Tejo Remy Leaf Furniture


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  1. double crochet June 28, 2007 at 12:21 am

    it ‘s good conceptually, but costs alot of money. Easier if we can build the same in brick or local stone…..?

  2. Blanket June 22, 2007 at 2:21 am

    They’re not pointy or poison-tipped, but how many different ways could a kid get hung up or semi-impaled on the exposed bar-ends along the top of the fence?

    It’s very pretty, but it inspires visions of gore (and I’m not even American).

    Heh, this reads like I’m a chainsaw murderer, doesn’t it?

  3. taisouegao June 19, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Borderless thing human country

  4. At home with Kim Vallee June 19, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Kids should find several ways to play with it – even more imaginative than the cops and robbers game. I am an adult and it makes me want to play. This is a well-taught design, one that is intriguing, unique, stimulating and eye pleasing. I applauded it.

  5. Blueue June 18, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    One of the most amazing work that I have ever seen. It is so simple and so creative, it changes one of the city components which couldn’t be even more normal and generates much better life. Excellent!

  6. Nick Simpson June 18, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    This is BRILLIANT…

  7. Solace June 17, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Having studied basic Folklore studies, I know for a fact that this design will inspire more childhood games than its critics would have thought. At this sort of age of development, children thrive on creative and imaginative use of their environments, and this fence design is perfect for such use. It might provide a jail for ‘Cops and robbers’ or a more dveloped theme could emerge.

    Either way, I am in full support of this design, not just as it well inspire the kids and provide them with a new way to interact with and enjoy urban environments, but it also adds a, I feel much needed, aesthetic boost to an otherwise dull and uninteresting element of modern design.

    Good work mate, I hope this makes its way into common use soon.

  8. Vinny June 15, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    While I enjoy the design and aesthetics of the project, I fail to see how it is a “playground”. Interactive fence, seating, maybe, but it is no more a “playground” then any other park bench to a child with an imaignation.

  9. Kathleen June 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    City Hall is not who to contact. Contact Parks dept.

  10. royalestel June 15, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Two thumbs up. Thanks for posting.

  11. Jane June 14, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I love this … Brilliant.
    At the same time I cringe imagining a little foot slipping through the rails, an ankle getting twisted. An American seeing phantom personal injury lawsuits around every corner?

  12. Simone Frey June 14, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    One of the most beautiful works I’ve seen lately. BEAUTIFUL!!!

  13. nilea June 14, 2007 at 10:12 am

    As a metal worker and artist I am thrilled by this aesthetic.
    Was hoping this was recycled material…
    important to use some of the dumpster metals

  14. Elaine June 14, 2007 at 8:27 am

    I love this idea, and see it is in NYC somewhere. Do you know exactly where? (if you could, cross streets too). I would like to go check it out.

  15. Philip June 14, 2007 at 12:23 am

    I’m delighted by the ingenuity of taking the existing repetitive elements and distorting them to achieve new function while retaining the original. I’d be curious to know what sort of program or function Remy was serving though.

    This fence looks like it’s other face is on a public street. I suspect Americans will be cautious about inviting interactions between children and pedestrians. They see phantom pedophiles around every corner.

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