Bristol’s Watershed has announced the eight shortlisted projects for its second annual Playable City Award. Concepts range from interactive musical sculptures to alternative CCTV cameras, challenging familiar clichés of the ‘smart city’ and inviting residents to see and ‘play’ their urban spaces in new ways.
The winner will be selected in June by a panel of judges that includes Google Labs’ Tom Uglow, Situations founder and director Claire Doherty, and the 2013 Playable City Award winners Ben Barker and Sam Hill. The project team will be awarded a £30,000 development fee plus access to support and facilities at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio to produce the work. The finished artwork will be launched at the inaugural Making the City Playable Conference in September, before touring internationally in 2015.
The shortlisted projects, selected from 78 entries from 29 countries, are:
Beneath our feet, the stars (Ben Gwalchmai, Powys, UK) – lines of poetry generated and triggered by people crossing a bridge
CitySelfie (Design Informatics, Edinburgh, UK) – a roaming handcart that invites residents to take snapshots of the city using different technologies.
Light Memory (Jonathan Chomko, Treviso, Italy) – an infrared camera that records a person’s movements and plays them back as an interactive shadow to the next person who passes by.
Pipe Dream (George Zisiadis, San Francisco, US) – an interactive light and music sculpture built from coloured urban piping.
Press Play / Toca Aí (Laura Kreifman with Natasha Chubbuck, Filipe Caligario & Thaís Vidal, Bristol and Brazil) – touch-sensitive panels in public spaces programmed with musical tracks that invite collaborative play.
Shark in the Puddle (Ludic Rooms, Coventry, UK) – a range of visual and sonic interventions in the city based on and activated by changes in weather conditions.
Transportals (Fred Deakin, London, UK) – interactive projection-mapped animations placed at edges of architectural sites to be discovered by passers-by.
VVTC (Dan Dixon, Auckland, New Zealand) – subversive security cameras that react to the public in unpredictable ways, and which never transmit their video feeds.
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