As summer starts to heat up, people are heading outdoors to the nearest beaches and parks to soak up some sun. Architects, artists and designers are drumming up attention in these urban and natural environments by activating underutilised public spaces in clever ways. Using art in the public realm, these pieces become complete with the interaction of people.

Net Blow-Up by Numen/For Use

Blown up until reaching its fully inflated state, the self-supporting bubble reveals layers of internal nets. Visitors can climb throughout the interior and nighttime illumination places their movements on display to passersby outside.

Color Field by Ivan Toth Depeña

Making a mundane space more exciting, Ivan Toth Depeña's installation places steel posts topped with coloured glass panels along a series of paths and stairways at a train station outside of Denver, Colorado. As the sun angles change throughout the day, the vibrantly hued panes passively alter the light streaming through them and then casts onto unsuspecting pedestrians.

It Started With a Dime by Studio Wessels Boer

In a housing development dating from the 1870s on a street in Amsterdam, the unusual residents are the centre of an art installation by Studio Wessels Boer. A 3/4 type case common at the time but obsolete since the 1960s fills a brick facade and is becoming slowly but surely filled with aluminum objects which represent stories of the current inhabitants.

Psychylustro by Katherina Grosse

For an installation along Philadelphia’s Northeast Corridor Railway, a Berlin-based artist is spray painting large structures and sites to be viewed by passengers inside the train. With the speed of the moving train reducing the scale of her swathes of paint, the project adresses the way built and natural environments are viewed in today's fast-paced world.

Literature vs. Traffic Installation by Luzinterruptus

Nearly 10,000 books donated from the Salvation Army took to the streets in Melbourne, letting people graze the open, illuminated specimens and read them. Taking away usable space from vehicules and transforming the space into a peaceful pedestrian realm. Visitors were invited to take books home with them on the final night.

Water Light Graffiti Installation by Antonin Fourneau

A wall comprised of responsive LEDs alters its appearance when water is applied to its surface. Passesby happily picked up a spray water can and enjoyed the unique form of light painting, creating an air of enthusiasm previously only experienced by true graffiti artists. The temporary platform of expression was only made possible with technology and the introduction of people.

Waterfall Swing by Dash 7 Design

Play outside in the rain with this swingset without the hassle of getting wet. A vertical plane of water adapts to participant's swing speed and releases an opening within the wall of falling water to prevent users from actually getting wet.

String Prototype by Numen/For Use

Another inflatable construct, this version creates an internal jungle gym from a three dimensional grid of ropes. Enticing a more daring group of participants than their previous hammock-like project 'Net Blow-Up', this iteration still follows the principle of becoming usable after being inflated to full capacity.

Portable River by Luzinterruptus

Again taking to the street in Caracas, Venezuela, Luzinterruptus placed over 2,000 grocery bags were filled with water, plants and plastic fish in a river formation. Bringing attention to the way we monetize water, Passersby could pick up a bag and take it home to create a personal aquarium.