Agency Cossette hosts a public exhibition under a Toronto expressway encouraging play in the city

As we all become a little more used to the idea of outdoor exhibitions as a result of a seemingly never-ending pandemic, Toronto is hosting its Year of Public Art with a contribution from Quebec-based agency Cossette. Their design studio has partnered with The Bentway for an exhibition, Playing in Public.
The Bentway is essentially the underneath of a huge expressway or motorway called the Gardiner – like the M25 but much more complex. In 2015, the space which was previously going to waste was transformed into a public space for art, skating and exercise.
Playing in Public promises to be an interactive exhibition for members of the public to explore. “The pandemic highlighted the strong relationship between play, physical and mental wellbeing, and public space,” says Cossette’s design team. Therefore, the need for outdoor public space in dense, high-rise communities, like the ones near The Bentway became more desirable.
The exhibit opened earlier this summer and also includes online programming and a series of art installations by artists including Daily tous les jours, Esmaa Mohamoud, Assemble, Studio F-Minus, Thomas Mailaender and Erik Kessels, Pierre Poussin, The Street Society, and Nelson Wu and biosphere. Also, there are pop-ups littered around and a connected wayfinding “play path” designed by Cossette.

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