Kasteel Groeneveld & Staatsbosbeheer
‘Dierenparade’ (Animal Parade) is an exhibition – in the form of playground objects for children – traveling along the public outdoor spaces of Kasteel Groeneveld and various information centers of Staatsbosbeheer. The exhibition is about the playful role of animals in ‘Bouwwerk Natuur’ (Constructing Nature), based on an idea by landscape architect Henk van Blerck.
In the Netherlands, a number of animal species play a strategic role in plans for nature development. Planmakers push these types forward as pawns to back up their goals. For example, the deer and the beaver are target species for contiguous natural areas. Connections are created in the landscape for the badger and otter. The sea eagle and the Scottish highlander help to maintain nature. The meaning of the cornwolf has assumed mythical forms in the struggle for the preservation of nature. Like the wolf, it is a symbol of the primeval nature that has disappeared.
We translated this idea into an exhibition for children from three years up and their supervisors. A concept with playground equipment that resembles abstracted animal figures of which the shapes refer to pawns in board games. Eight giant pawns in signal colors are arranged in a line in the open field. From close up, each pawn is a play object with a game element that is derived from the behavior of the animal species in its natural environment: rocking deer, sliding otter, floating sea eagle, hiding cornwolf, puzzling beaver, sneaky badger, yes-nodding highlander, howling wolf. The cartoon and text on every foot emphasize the role the animal plays in nature development. To make it safe for small children, the playground equipment is designed according to the legal standard for playground equipment (NEN 1176) and is approved by the Keurmerkinstituut. For many years it was a busy family exhibition and playground!
FLOATING SEA EAGLE