DIY Field

2011

permanent public commission for Central Park, Winnipeg

DIY Field is an interactive grid of 38 pedestrian-scale light posts on a sloped piece of ground in Winnipeg's Central Park. In keeping with the themes of play developed throughout the park, each post's light and colour is controllable by park users, creating a flexible field that is configurable by individuals for emergent game play and other uses.

Each simple metal post contains energy-efficient RGB (red, green, blue) LED lights with three robust buttons to turn each colour channel on and off separately. Combinations of the three primary colours permit eight light colours per post: red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, magenta, white, and no light.

The poles recall game- and sports equipment such as pylons, slalom markers, goal posts, and signaling devices. They minimally articulate a space that is otherwise left open for the public to animate and invent uses. Besides creating a situation for play by giving users and residents a measure of control over the character and mood of the space, the project also communicates a vision of public space that is shaped by how it is used and negotiated by citizens in real life, as much by how it is planned.

Commissions: DIY Field, 2011.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Robert Enright, Border Crossings, 2012.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: CBC SCENE staff, SCENE, 2011.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Tania Kohut, Winnipeg Free Press, 2011.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Leif Norman, , 2011.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Steven Leyden Cochrane, Uptown, 15 Dec 2011.

Collection(s): City of Winnipeg

Germaine Koh, DIY Field, 2011, Metal posts with interactive LED lights. Photo: Leif Norman, http://leifnorman.net