Steel is a totally underrated material. Sure, it’s been given its due in architecture circles over the past few years. But in the public consciousness, it’s still seen as having an industrial flavour that’s novel but not ultimately a thing of beauty. Well, I’m here to change all that. How? Let me explain.
I’ve been working with an up-and-coming slippery dip designer, Bill Kettle. Together, we intend to change the way the world sees steel, bringing it from the realm of the industrial into the realm of childhood imagination. Back in the 80s, kids’ play equipment used to be made of steel bent into all kinds of whimsical forms, like rocket ships, dinosaurs, and strange abstract forms resembling alien exoskeletons.
These things were dangerous to climb as all get out, but no one can deny that today’s safety-conscious pirate ships just don’t stack up. The thrill is in the possibility of falling several metres to the ground while jumping between precariously positioned stainless steel beams. Around Melbourne, there’s lots of potential to create spaces that capture that feeling without actually putting people in grave danger.
By merging Bill’s slippery dip designs with my entrepreneurial mindset, we’ve hatched a plan to create a new breed outdoor environment, the likes of which have never been seen before. How exactly this will be done remains to be seen, but I’m confident that we can pull it off. At the moment, it’s a matter of getting people on board.
Here in Melbourne, steel fabrication isn’t the easiest thing in the world to hook up, and the people that do it are rightly cautious about getting involved in building something designed to evoke feelings of potential danger. But we need them on our team so we’ll do whatever it takes, short of getting those safe play equipment designers involved. We can’t let this project get watered down to that level. What it needs is innovative thinking.