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#513 Detroit’s miles-long playground

Photo by Jay Ryness

Photo by Jay Ryness, via Flickr Creative Commons

From Campus Martius to the Gullen Mall, the world’s longest hopscotch course invited Detroiters to drop any pretense of dignity and hop their way along a path that connected over a dozen venues of the 2012 Detroit Design Festival.

The hopscotch course was a creative collaboration between Wedge Detroit, a company of innovative young designers, and Imagine Detroit Together, a community organizing initiative with dreams of bringing Detroiters together in innovative ways.

GOOD called it a “pop-up playground” and commented:

Equal parts ode to the classic childhood game and imaginative community event, Hopscotch Detroit’s allure is its simplicity: temporarily transforming a street, or a city, into a unified, vibrant playground.

Kids, artists, community organizers, and neighbours turned out to connect mid-town to downtown in a playful way. Kirk Mayes, Executive Director of Brightmoor Alliance, said of the plan:

We’re going to make a statement that things aren’t so tough in Detroit that we can’t take the time to consciously come together in cool ways to play and create with each other.

Hopscotch Detroit volunteers used a mixture of cornstarch and paint to create the 3.75-mile course. They knew their work would disappear after a few rainfalls, leaving memories of a community effort that brought out a spirit of playfulness in everyone involved.

Detroit is going through rough times. A playful approach to community organizing buoys spirits and leaves a trail of memories.

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