SLU news

Urban Playscapes for everyone!

Published: 25 November 2019

In the dark season, the Nordic Embassies in Berlin feature a bright orange light installation that turns their courtyard into an active playscape. The installation was created by the Swedish landscape architect and artist Monika Gora. It invites ambassadors and visitors, foreigners and locals, children and grown-ups – everyone, day and night.

The right to the city is the right to play, and that is why urban landscapes need to be open and functional, and also to touch the heart and soul. Monika Gora's orange 'Jimmys' are a group of four luminous sculptures. Handmade since 1995, similar sculptures are now present in more than 40 locations in the Nordic countries and in a few places in Germany. They inspire playful exploration and different interpretations. There is a story of rocks being sculpted into rounded shapes by the sea over a very long time and now forming a small secret landscape. Another tale is about them being big dreamlike sleepy animals while radiating calm and a feeling of security. The orange colour evokes memories of Aboriginal tales of the sacred landscapes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta in Australia.

Monika Gora will teach the design studio course 'Site Concept Theory' in the MSc Landscape architecture programme at SLU Alnarp in early 2020. The topic is on "Urban landscape for a healthy living".