Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge is a community-based experimental urban platform that uses play, games and performance to reveal, share and celebrate local knowledge produced in South Philadelphia, an area known for its rich cultural and ethnic diversity. Playgrounds seeks the restructuring of urban spaces by promoting new social relations across cultural and economic divides, with the objective of generating just and sustainable forms of collective inhabiting to confront the pressures of accelerated urban development.
From May through March 2016, Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge will occupy an empty lot at 632 Jackson Street, creating a temporary hub space, that together with other temporary occupations in South Philadelphia, interrupt the demands of daily life through play, inspiring and producing new socio-spatial imaginaries and political subjectivities.
Here Cohabitation Strategies is collaborating with a variety of neighborhood partners in a participatory pilot project that activates playful ways of critically thinking land occupation, gentrification, environmental restoration and housing through participatory design, while inspiring cross-cultural communication by generating knowledge exchange through performance, construction and dialogue.
Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge is a project by Cohabitation Strategies with The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Restored Spaces Initiative. Curated by Lucía Sanromán. Project Manager Shari Hersh. Major support for Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Founders: Lucia Babina, Emiliano Gandolfi, Gabriela Rendón and Miguel Robles-Durán
Project Team: Larissa Begault, Mariana Bomtempo, Julia Borowicz, Heidi Chisholm, Troy Hallisey, Juan Pablo Pemberty, Beth Uzwiak and Lee Wolf