by Marta Millere in New Design on Wednesday 2 April 2014

Remember how much fun jungle gyms were when you were a kid? Personally, I found trees more appetizing when it came to stretching out my limbs with boys, but jungle gyms were still on the top of my outdoor entertainment list. I would never have resisted this one created by Numen/For Use, a design collective that has been active in the industrial design scene since the late 90s. As described by the designers, String Prototype is a self supporting inhabitable social sculpture.

From the outside, String Prototype looks like an inflatable igloo. On the inside, things are quite different: it’s actually an inflatable jungle gym, but instead of monkey bars, those who enter it climb on strings. When the installation is deflated, the cords are shapeless and slack. As the structure inflates, the ropes get tighter and tighter.

The idea behind it is pretty cool: as you climb, what is essentially a 3D grid, your body moves and positions itself in ways that are unnatural and impossible and to do on any other surface.

The test version of Numen/For Use’s String Prototype was displayed in a rural surrounding in Vienna, Austria, at the end of December 2013.