Guerrilla swings – putting some fun into urban spaces

When was the last time you had a swing? My last turn on a swing was a few days ago – I got some funny looks at the park from other adults but it didn’t deter me from enjoying the ride alongside the kids. Regardless of age, a swing is exhilarating. Which is why I love the sentiment behind these ‘guerrilla swing’ projects.

Parisian artist Jerome G. Dermuth set up the ‘Swing the City‘ project in Paris a number of years ago. The idea was simple – install swings in urban public spaces and people will use them. And they did.

American Jeff Waldman, inspired by Dermuth, went about installing ‘guerrilla swings’ in cities around the US and the results were the same as the Parisian experiment – people love to swing! Watch the video clip below to see the pure joy the swings provide.

Waldman took the swing project a step further and with grants through The Awesome Foundation and Kickstarter, he has installed swings in the Marshall Islands, Panama and Bolivia. Waldman says “It’s not just about spreading joy, but spreading the desire to create it.”

The really cool thing about Waldman’s swings are the locations he picks – under bridges, hanging from enormous trees and, my favourite, under a jetty. Not limited by safety guidelines like the swings you find at a playground, some of Waldman’s swings are huge – which just multiplies the fun factor! My lawyer friends are muttering something about public liability at this point… Pfft! Relax and go take a swing.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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