2013 Winner: Hello Lamp Post

The first Playable City Award in 2013 was won by design and research studio PAN, Tom Armitage and Gyorgyi Galik for their citywide platform for play, Hello Lamp Post.

During the summer of 2013 Hello Lamp Post invited the people of Bristol to attempt a whole new way of communicating, through lamp posts, post boxes and other familiar street furniture, by texting the unique codes found on each object. Codes can be found around the city, used to identify public objects when they are in need of repair.

With Hello Lamp Post, these codes became secret passwords that allowed you to ‘wake up’ a sleeping object and discover what it had to say. Would it be pleased to see you? Irritated at having been left in the rain? Or would it tell you a secret? Each exchange lasted for a few messages before you were asked to come back and talk some more another day. The more you played, the more the hidden life of the city was revealed.

Hello Lamp Post short film by Drew Cox

More about the winners:

PAN is a design and research studio, established to produce rich, powerful and affecting experiences. We promote the idea of Experiential Design - taking theory and practices learned from the design industries and applying them to help people discover new sensations, explore deep emotional states and learn in new ways. In the last year we’ve built brain-scanning seance tables, woodland camera puzzles and a zombie-defence laser trap. We have worked for clients including The British Council, Marks & Spencers, Tom Dixon and Capcom.

Gyorgyi Galik is a London-based media artist with a background in fine arts and visual communication design. Gyorgyi has worked in labs and design studios including: Designswarm (London), Elmsly Arts Limited (London), PAN Studio (London), Natalie Jeremijenko and the Environmental Health Clinic (New York), Hexagram-Concordia (Montreal), CECI (Montreal), Szovetseg'39 Association of Artists and Architects (Budapest), Kitchen Budapest Art & Tech Lab (Budapest).

Tom Armitage is a designer and technologist, working across hardware, software, and the network; he has previously held positions at games company Hide&Seek and the design firm Berg. His explorations of the playful city go back to 2008, when he joined Tower Bridge to the network with an automated Twitter account, which has proved curiously popular.

The award was co-funded by a network of organisations who exemplify Bristol’s strength in Creative Technologies. This unusual approach to sponsorship and support reflected the collaborative nature of a city where companies are well networked, open and sharing.

The partners for the 2013 Award were: AardmanBDHHP LabsIBMIMDBThe Bristol SETsquared CentreSiftTeam RubberThirty ThreeTLT LLPToshibaUniversity of BristolUniversity of the West of England and Bristol City Council. The Award was produced by Watershed with support from Arts Council England.

In partnership with:

Future Cities Catapult Playable City Award Sponsor Logo Bristol City Council Playable City Award Sponsor Logo University of Bristol Playable City Award Sponsor Logo University of the West of Englang Playable City Award Sponsor Logo