Resembling a colorful hammock crocheted playground, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam’s sculptures were originally shown in the mid 1990s. Obviously made for kids to play on, two children approached her and asked not long after if they could climb on top of it – she nervously agreed.
Suddenly, an idea came to mind: maybe these sculptures are meant for children after all? Almost three years passed before MacAdams created her next crochet project. She teamed up with engineers TIS & Partners and landscape architects Takano Landscape Planning to create a large-scale crochet playground in Tokyo.
Toshiko Horiuchi-MacAdam has transformed exquisite crafts like knitting and crochet into industrial practices to create interactive works of art for children.These Interactive Crocheted Playgrounds by Toshiko Horiuchi-McAdam are wildly whimsical. The color-infused installations give its users a sensory experience that embraces the spirit of childhood.
Her inspiration is “the undisguised delight of a child exploring an unfamiliar space,” as she told the Art Maker Magazine about her interactive installation at Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan. The bright, colorful playground contains nets, swings, cushions and pockets, encouraging kids of all ages to explore.
For Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, creating her work is about collaboration. She starts with a wooden scale model of the space where she plans to install her designs. From there she moves on to designing in fine cotton thread before finally completing the process in yarn.
These installations can take anywhere from three days to eighteen months to complete and are always tailored specifically for their surroundings and environment. One of her most famous works is ‘Rinbow Net’, located at the Children’s Area of Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park in Sapporo, Japan.
“All children can play together. They don’t have to be athletic, but they can still use their whole bodies for fun – laughing, giggling and screaming. They have a great time together. Older children often work with younger kids, helping to build their confidence and teach them new games. Older kids also try to dazzle each other with their head-spinning and impressive feat of creativity.”