Self-Made Playgrounds from Recycled Materials, Basurama

I never tire of the work of Spanish collective Basurama, whose practice “revolves around the reflection of trash, waste and reuse in all its formats and possible meanings”. In addition to the public space installations previously featured here at Playscapes (see Ghost Train Park, the Park for Playing and Thinking, and Equipamentos Extraordinarios), they have also constructed a series of “self-made playgrounds”, reconfiguring whatever materials they find available in the local setting into playful–and visually arresting–designs.   Like TYIN Tegnestue, for example, Basurama distinguishes themselves from other charitable providers by an attention to aesthetics that credits its clients with appreciating both play AND design.

For an orphanage in Addis Abada, Ethiopia, Basurama used discarded scrap metal from old swingsets, cribs and beds to make bright yellow ladders and hexagons and covered them with pallets for climbing.  Note the nice details of a sun shade made from billboard advertisements and the chalkboard backing on the lower hexagons!  In Maputo, Mozambique they enlivened the dusty schoolyard with large geometric pallet-houses and smaller elements community-built from car tires recovered in the surrounding neighborhood. And in Malabo, Equatorial New Guinea they appropriated the streetscape around a spreading mango tree with a temporary playground of more pallets and plastic drink crates to make a climbable, sittable, suspended garden.

These ideas aren’t just for the developing world!  We could do a whole lot more repurposing and reusing on ‘first-world’ playgrounds, too. Let Basumrama inspire you.



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