“Creative Construction” Evaluating Playable City Lagos

“Had the most amazing opportunity over the last week co-creating with some of the most amazing minds… Diverse creative processes coming together… the immense possibilities in collaboration” Logo Oluwamuyiwa Adeyemi

In March 2016, Watershed produced a two-week Playable City Lagos workshop, supported and commissioned by British Council. Working in the heart of the Nigerian capital, we collaborated with local and UK Creatives to explore how playful experiences might improve the experience of moving around a heavily congested city. The residential lab was the result of over a year of local research and network-building by Hilary O’Shaugnessy (Watershed), Lynsey Smith (British Council) and Olamide Udo Udoma (Future Lagos). Participants were supported to collaborate and prototype ideas that were demonstrated as part of a public sharing event in Lagos in March 2016.

As part of the project, British Council commissioned Nesta to evaluate the form and impact of Playable City Lagos, as advice to those taking the Playable City programme to other locations around the world. We were joined on the trip by Jessica Bland, Head of Futures Research and Senior Researcher Tom Saunders. Their report  ‘Creative Construction, A new kind of innovation for your city: An evaluation of Playable City Lagos‘ is published today:

“Maintaining critical debate about the ideas as they progressed and taking seriously how prototypes might be used if
they were to be turned into products, is what lifted this experience above other international conferences or workshops”.

In the next year Watershed and British Council will extend the international Playable City Network to more cities across the world, sharing knowledge, developing skills and realising playful ideas. This report demonstrates where our approach offers a real alternative to traditional city innovation workshops and helps us make the case when talking to new cities.