Putting people and play at the heart of future cities around the world
“More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and how our cities grow, adapt and thrive is becoming the key issue of our age. Yet the conversation on the future city is more focused on policy and technology than people and culture. And surely changing behaviours is as important as changing software platforms.” (Watershed, 2014)
Playable City® was launched in 2012 by Watershed, a leading film culture and digital media centre based in Bristol, UK. It is a global innovation platform that explores the universal language of “play” as a tool to transform cities into places of unexpected interaction. Playable City creates artistic interventions that reuse the fabric of the city to generate shared experiences in public spaces – experiences that become conversation starters between citizens and their cities.
Central to the programme is the annual Playable City International Award. It calls on creative people from around the world to submit ideas for innovative projects that use technology in creative ways to create playful, surprising and moving experiences in a city’s public spaces. The winning idea is awarded a residency at Watershed’s collaborative research space, the Pervasive Media Studio, and support to develop a prototype that is then publicly tested in Bristol.
Playable City is extending its international network to cities around the world, so far reaching Recife in Brazil, Lagos in Nigeria, and Tokyo in 2015.