The Research Centre
for Participatory Art and Design

Madrid, Spain

Iza Rutkowska “What animal is this?”

Realization: Matadero, Madrid, May-December 2018

“What animal is this?” Is the participatory creation of a playground. The project was created as a result of play with technical drawings of the Matadero building. During the workshops, the children watched the outlines of the building from a bird’s-eye view. At first they treated it like a map, which allows them to discover the recesses of the building, learn the size and specificity of the space in which they are located. Later, they treated the map as the basis for an architectural mock-up, and they drew out of the shapes that hide in the building outlines, glued animals that gave them the function of a playground. There have been ideas like the snake, which is a tunnel that you can enter. An animal with playful eyes to jump on.

By unifying children’s drawings, Iza Rutkowska designed an interactive sculpture that appeared in the Matadero space, fulfilling the functions invented by children. After opening the facility, the co-authors again considered how to use the facility. In addition to carefree fun, the facility was used by other artists and entire families for free. “Snake” was worn out faster than planned, which was why subsequent artists turned it into furniture that later appeared in the same space. By including children in the design process, they had a sense of authorship and, despite the fact that the animal was not, for example, a cat, which they inspired only a snake, they said that the design is an exact transfer of what they had in their imagination. They also claimed that the animal has “their eyes”.

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