Essential Repair is a public artwork created by Amy Rose and Chris Pirie. It was produced by Amy Rose Projects in June 2021 in response to Summer of Play. Summer of Play is a campaign to enable children to have space and time for play this summer as we emerge from lockdown and Covid restrictions. It is supported by hundreds of businesses, charities, councils and communities all over the UK.
Outdoor play is vital for all humans, and reclaiming streets for play is a simple and effective way for children and communities to reconnect and build post-pandemic resilience. The Essential Repair sign is for use alongside temporary street play road closures; designed to be displayed alongside, and complement, but not obscure or replace, official street closure signage.
This playful object and act of tactical urbanism is making a small tour of Bristol street play sessions throughout the summer– please get in touch if you want to host it.
I hope that this sign communicates the far-reaching benefits of street play in a simple and gentle way and inspires people to play out during this Summer of Play and beyond! I hope it also provokes a compassionate smile among drivers who encounter any street that is closed to through traffic for a playing out session, and inspires them to be mindful of their car use.
She conceived it in response to Donald Appleyard’s research on liveable streets, a study which demonstrated the impact of traffic on community connection and social cohesion. As a playfully subversive road sign, Essential Repair asks adults to take responsibility to reduce the impact of what Appleyard called the ‘invisible harm’ of traffic. As an act of tactical urbanism, it also defends children’s basic right to play and to breath clean air. Amy was a founder of Playing Out, and is an advocate of street play as a simple, accessible solution that enables children’s everyday play, social development and physical activity.
Amy makes projects and events in, and for, public spaces, including residential neighbourhoods. These include the highly successful, policy-changing national initiative, Playing Out, Street Light 2020, Write Up Your Street, Open The Door, I Open the Door, Public Skipping Service and more.
Please get in touch if you are interested in hosting Essential Repair at a play street session.
Follow this link for information about how to activate play on your street.
Essential Repair is a live project, please do come back here regularly for updates. You might also want to use the links in the side column to follow Amy Rose Projects on social media. #SummerofPlay is on Instagram and elsewhere.
Amy Rose artist, designer
Chris Pirie technical design