A project that invites audiences to communicate through post boxes, bus stops, lamp posts and other street furniture has been announced as the winner of the inaugural £30,000 Playable City Award, organised by Watershed in Bristol.
Hello Lamp Post! by London-based design studio PAN, utilises the coding system used by Bristol City Council to identify different objects throughout the city. By texting these codes to a special phone number, the public will be able to have a ‘conversation’ with the objects, bringing inanimate objects to life and telling stories about the city and its inhabitants.
Hello Lamp Post! was chosen from a shortlist of ten announced in December, which in turn was selected down from 93 entries. Proposals were received from 24 countries. Judge Claire Doherty from art commissioning agency Situations said: “We were enchanted by this proposal and particularly loved the way it challenged the prevalence of mass-entertainment and spectacle, revealing an invisible ‘soft city’ – the exchanges and incidents that create a city’s social fabric. It’s rare to find a proposal which combines those intimate exchanges with the humour and playfulness of Hello Lamp Post!”
Ben Barker from PAN Studios said: “We are really flattered and excited to continue to develop the idea with Watershed on what makes a playable city over the coming months… We are asking people to wake up to street furniture and play with them in order to communicate with fellow citizens. We’re excited to see what Bristol comes up with!”
Chair of the judges, Clare Reddington, Director of Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, said: “The judges had a difficult decision to make but have selected an unusual and innovative project, which responds perfectly to the theme and seems very apt for Bristol. We will certainly have some challenges to make sure the project reaches as many people as possible, but I’m sure people will respond with curiosity and warmth and I am very much looking forward to waking up some street furniture this summer.”
More information on the Playable City project at www.watershed.co.uk/playablecity