Safe Zone is a garden installation selected through a competitive process for the International Garden Festival at Grand-Metis, Quebec. The proposal is a reformulated pleasure garden utilizing a range of off-the-shelf safety products turned or stretched to new ends. We utilized an array of readily available commercial products designed for potentially dangerous conditions and situations, yet turned to playful uses: poured-in-place rubber surfacing made from recycled rubber, plastic warning strips, traction mats, goal post bumpers— materials of everyday landscapes (subway platforms, sidewalks, playgrounds, sports fields) isolated and coerced into a provocative and interactive garden installation.
The garden is a topography of code and regulation—essentially manufacturing three-dimensional garden conditions (hillocks and valleys) that would require protective measures and materials. The undulating, synthetic surface we designed was stretched over a rippling, activated groundplane woven into a clearing in the woods. The result is an an open, undulating topography, fluid in its definition and purpose, available for unconstricted exploration and experimentation.