Park(ing) Day 2012

As I’m sure everyone remembers from last year’s post, Park(ing) Day is an international event in which car parking spaces are turned into people places. It began in 2005 when design firm Rebar paid for an on-street parallel car park not to use for parking, but to turn into a mini green space for people to use recreationally. Their reasoning was that if we’ve paid for the space, surely we could use it for whatever we like! Thus, Park(ing) Day was born, and it has grown to an international event held every September on streets around the world. TCL Adelaide has so far participated for three consecutive years and there were a total of 44 parks across Adelaide this year.

Last years park, covered here, was an epic checkers battle pitting cars against trees in a fight to the death. Although the cars fought gallantly, the trees were the eventual victors of the day.

Having engaged mainly with the ground-plane in 2011, we thought we should engage with the vertical and use all three dimensions of the allocated parking space. After some discussion of canopies, structures and forms, our attention turned to Kokedama, a Japanese method of planting that sees plants wrapped in their own small ball of moss and soil. 


ImageThe benefit of this method of planting is that you can hang the moss balls up by their loose string, thus creating a hanging garden. Eventually the moss that covers the outside of the soil ball will grow, creating a living, green vessel for each plant. We wanted to create a garden that would live on after Park(ing) Day so we used entirely productive plants to create our Kokedama.

How, then, were we to display these objects to do them justice in our park? Many ideas were floated and in the end we decided on a sculptural approach. Gathering inspiration, we started workshopping our sculptural elements, and eventually came to a structurally stable and beautiful outcome that shows off the Kokedama fantastically.

After building half a dozen structures, and planting just under one hundred Kokedama, we had created our park!



The final result filled the park with whimsy and beauty. We managed to create an inhabitable space with sculptural qualities and a message about making the most of whatever space you may be given.






The other parks around Adelaide were all very different. There was guerrilla gardening, construction drawing origami, free orange juice, giant cardboard trees, an ever-evolving cardboard triangle sculpture, a birthday party, a functioning park-sized house plan, and a bollywood cinema, to name a few.

The following video is a good wrap-up (from the Adelaide City Council):

The official website can be found here:

Adelaide Parking Day on Facebook:


Adelaide Parking Day on ABC News featuring Alex Lock:


Get involved next year! It’s a lot of fun and a great opportunity to do something a bit different.


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