Designing for Play

Caitlin is an advocate for play. She blends her background in architecture and public service with her expertise in parkour and play to provide mindset shifting programming, public speaking, playground design, and interactive art. Her work challenges people to rethink their relationship to their body, their spaces, their communities, and the world — pushing creativity and re-connection.

Public Art, Light, & Play Installations・Movement Education & Programming・ Community Building ・ Urban Planning・ Womens Empowerment・Public Speaking・Leadership & Team Building

MOVEMENT FOR ALL: A Courageous Call to Action

CURRENTLY

Executive Director | Parkour Visions→
Parkour Visions is a 501(c)3 non-profit uses parkour to ensure everyone has access, and opportunity to participate in movement education and lifelong recreation in order to achieve whole human health, powerful self expression, engaged civic participation, and inclusion in a community of care.

Founder & Director The Art of Retreat→
AOR is a leadership development and community education platform, running two international events annually, reaching over 30+ countries.

Founder & Director North American Women's Parkour Gathering→
WPKM is focused on providing resources to leaders to support women in learning parkour and connecting to the community. The annual gathering encourages women to explore and play in public spaces and places, hosted by different cities each year.

Transition Adviser | United States Parkour Association→
USPK Is the national governing body for Parkour in the United States of America.

Author | Guerilla Playfare→ (Launching 2019)
Guerrilla Playfare is an exploration of design decisions and tactics that unintentionally inspire play, expand social behavior, and lead to impromtu and at times unauthorized interactions between city and citizen. Parkour Practitioners have engaged in this playfare for over two decades, appropriating objects and spaces for their play, upending the question of where do we *choose* to play.

Curator The Movement Library→ 
Online database of physical and outdoor games for use by educators and coaches.

CuratorSourceShare→
SourceShare is a pledge to contribute to the free and rapid creation and sharing of high-quality, free educational information, teaching tools, leadership insights, and design practices for the parkour, fitness, and movement arts community. Seeking contributors!

Owner | Studio Madefor→
A design think-tank with a focus on ludic, experiential and interactive design

PAST PROJECTS

Co-founder, past partner | The Movement Creative→
A social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of others through movement education and programming. 

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Playground Design Camp 2019 - 6.jpg

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PUBLIC SPEAKING

2019 US Play Conference
Guerrilla Play: Design Tactics for Planners, Policy Makers, and Programmers to Play-ify the City!

2019 Art of Retreat
Public Space, Play, Parkour, and Design: A Panel Discussion on current trends in designing for parkour communities.

2018 NY American Institute of Architecture
"Guerrilla Play: Opportunities and Design Tactics Learned From Parkour.

2013 TEDx Talk→ (6:52m)
"Transforming Work into Play: Why Parkour?"

2014 FEAST ON GOOD Public Talk→ (7:51m)
"Rethinking Exercise: From Work to Play through Parkour."

2017 JUMPFEST Public Panel on Design for Parkour→ (2:02)
Conquer vs. Coexist: Why we should stop designing parkour parks, and start designing for play in our public spaces.”

2017 US Play Conference Speaker
"All Grown Up: Emerging Trends with Play Past Childhood. Parkour, Programming, and Design"

PODCASTS

2019 Evolve Move Play →(1h 25m)
Creating Stronger Communities With Play & Parkour”

2018 This Human Animal Podcast→(1h 19m)
"The Play Architect"

2017 Ecosomatics Podcast Interview
”The Spaces that Move Us”

2016 Movers Mindset Interview  & Podcast→(26:02m)
 "Play, Parkour, and our Public Spaces."

PRESS & WRITING

2019 MEDIUM Online Article→
Movement For All: A Call to Courageous Action” by Caitlin Pontrella

2018 DESIGNING FOR KIDS Book Interview→
by Krystina Castella

2018 CHANGE MAKERS Book Interview→
On Risk-Taking, Play, and Community Building”

2017 FORBES Interview & Commentary→
"Inside The Creative Battle To Lead The Core Of Parkour" from The Berlin School of Creative Leadership

2016 MPORA Commentary on Women in Parkour→
"Women in Parkour | How Freerunning Helps You See the City in a Whole New Light" by Julie Angel

2015 BROOKLYN BASED Article
”A Workout That Turns Your Whole City Into A Playground” by Tiffany Charbonier

2014 Parkour Project Photo Editorial→
Photo editorial by Anya Chibis on Women in Parkour and the Women Parkour Movement Initiative

2013 VERTICAL FLOOR MAGAZINE Interview
"Equal Work, Equal Play"

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INSTALLATION

The Conversation Station| Masonic Family Park, Granite Falls, WA
Granted Interactive Light Art Installation for the Ingition Northwest Critical Art Festival. Galvanized steel, pvc, flagging tape, LED strip and flood lighting, plywood. 2019 July

Hearth Hangout | Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA
Interactive Public Art Installation with Aaron Woodward for the Lusio Light Festival. Found objects, plywood, LED strip and flood lighting. 2019 Aug

Playscape in the Park | Governors Island, NY
Interactive Public Art Installation for the summer season in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island, activated with programming by local partners. Timber, galvanized steel, marine fabric. 100’x50’x10’h. 2016

Your Park, Your Playground→ | Governors Island, NY
Interactive Public Art Installation and play space for the summer season in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island. Reconfigured once a week. Galvanized steel. 20’x30’x12’h. 2015 & 2016

The Streets Are For Play→ | Park Avenue, New York City, NY
Interactive Installation and play space for the Summer Streets Festival hosted by the Department of Transportation, located on Park Avenue. Three installations over a three week period. Galvanized Steel. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Parkour Adventure→ | Central Park, New York City, NY
Interactive Installation and play space for the Adventures NYC summer festival hosted by the New York City Parks & Recreation Department and Central Park Conservancy. Galvanized Steel, Wood. 2013-2016.

Origins | Brookfield Plaza, New York City, NY
Interactive Installation and climbing structure for Brookfield Arts. Galvanized Steel, plywood. 2016

THE POPUP PLAYGROUND
Selected Installations

Temporary Public Art Installations - Pop-up ‘playground’ sculptures for large scale public events, street art festivals, conferences, museums. Never the same structure twice, always a new way to play. 30+ installations between 2013-2017. Galvanized Steel.

  • 2016 - Tribeca Film Festival Installation
    Public Installation, NYC

  • 2016 - Lulu Lemon Hub Installation
    Inside the Lulu Lemon Flagship Store

  • 2015 - IDEAsCity Festival for the New Museum Installation
    Public Installation, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, NYC

  • 2014 - Human+Exhibition
    New York Hall of Science Museum, NYC

  • 2014 - MakerFaire Festival with the NY Hall of Science
    Public Installation, Flushing Meadow Park, NYC

  • 2014 - TED City 2.0 Conference Installation

  • 2014 - The Feast on Good Conference Installation

  • 2013 - Public Summer with First Street Park Alliance
    Public Installation, First Street Park, NYC

  • 2013 - TEDx Conference Talk & Installation
    Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

  • 2013 - Harlem Streetgames Festival Public Installation
    Public Installation, Thomas Jefferson Park, NYC


We need spaces to practice our skills. We need spaces where we can struggle. And playgrounds give us those spaces. They give us opportunities to safely explore and work with our complex emotional and social worlds; to try on responses, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.