Bristol Lab 2012

Playable City began in 2012, in Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, with a Playable City Sprint that brought together creatives from East Asia and the UK. Produced in partnership with British Council, over five days, participants worked together to experiment and prototype new ideas for Bristol, that used creative technologies to playfully rethink public space.

Play is good for us, and we are never too old to play. Play is synonomous with fun, but it can also help us learn things and develop relationships. For an artist, play is a brilliant tool: it can be used to challenge how people perceive their environment, and also encourage audiences to get involved rather than simply observe. Play is central to this sprint, and participants from all over the world worked together to devise ways in which creative technology could be used to inject some fun and meaning into public space.

Drawn from across cultures and disciplines, participants from the UK were installation artist Tine Bech, designer Julian Sykes, sound artist Kathy Hinde, visual artist Mathew Trivett and product designer Vahakn Matossian. International guests included Australian theatre makers Leticia Cáceres and Angela Betzien of RealTV, Japanese product designer/sound artist Yuri Suzuki, also from Japan visual artist Megumi Matsubara, Korean duo Bang & Lee, and Malaysian composer Ng Chor Guan.

The five-day Sprint encouraged participants to investigate ideas through a process of discussion, sharing, making and testing; and enabled participants to make valuable connections that will last well beyond the end of the project.

You can see some of the pictures the British Council took here and an overview of the ideas in the project film below, which range from the world’s smallest pirate radio station to a game that connects cycling commuters.