Stop Smile Stroll Live in Bristol for Layered Realities Weekend


On 17 and 18 March 2018, Watershed is delighted to unveil Stop, Smile, Stroll – the winning commission of the 2016 international Playable City Award, created by UK based design and technology consultancy Hirsch & Mann.

Stop Stroll Smile will form part of the programme of the Layered Realities Weekend 5G showcase – the world’s first public 5G testbed which aims to explore the next generation of wireless and wired connectivity through a series of free experimental public events. This weekend will be the first chance for Bristol audiences and public to experience Stop, Smile, Stroll.

As we travel the city in our own worlds – often disconnected from our surroundings, it’s all too easy for us to miss those fleeting opportunities to experience magical moments that are always around us: lights, noise and other people. Designed to break the mundane ‘stop and walk’ routine, Stop Smile Stroll will transform a street crossing into a 30-second opportunity for sharing a moment of magic, encouraging pedestrians to share their mood and co-create a musical response, all within the timings of a street crossing.

Daniel Hirschmann, Founder and CEO, Hirsch & Mann says, “Hirsch & Mann can’t wait to present the first ever public installation of ‘Stop Smile Stroll’ at the 5G Layered Realities festival.  With this project, we aim to convert a traffic light into an environment where pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are able to swap the typical feeling of frustration towards one another for a shared moment of playfulness and laughter – delivered via computer vision, custom LED screens, and some good solid music. It’s going to literally rock.”

In September 2016, Watershed unveiled the shortlist for the fourth international Playable City Award, which invited artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative practitioners from all over the world to propose new and distinctive ideas to respond to the theme Journeys. Stop, Smile, Stroll by Hirsch & Mann was selected from 81 entries, across 34 countries as the winner.

In the spirit of thinking by making, Hirsch & Mann will publicly trial Stop Stroll Smile in Bristol, UK, before sharing it with Playable City cities globally.

The Playable City Award is co-funded by an expert network of organisations interested in exploring the future of creativity, technology and citizenship in urban spaces. The partners are: Future Cities Catapult, University of BristolUniversity of the West of England , Invest Bristol and Bath and Oracle. The Award is produced by Watershed with support from Arts Council England.