2014: Shadowing

Winner of Watershed’s 2014 Playable City Award was Shadowing by Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier. Shadowing was chosen from a shortlist of eight projects which you can read about here.

Shadowing gives memory to a city lights, enabling them to record and play back the shadows of those who passed underneath.

Shadowing premiered in Bristol over six weeks in Autumn 2014 - residents and visitors hunted out the clandestine locations of eight augmented street lights, and were playing, dancing and shaping their shadows in some of the unexpected and lesser-travelled streets and pathways of Bristol. 

As the sun set over the city, the Shadowing streetlights would start to capture the movements of pedestrians passing beneath and echo them back as shadows to the next passerby, leaving a glimpse of those who walked the same path moments before. If a visitor stepped out of the light to watch for a while, the lamp would begin to ‘dream’, recalling a procession of shadows from earlier visitors.  

Shadowing installations:

Shadowing Tokyo, Japan, as part of Media Ambition Tokyo, 26 February - 21 March 2016

Designs of the Year 2015 Exhibition, 25 March 2015 - 31 March 2016 London Design Museum

Illuminating York 2015, 28 October 2015 - 31 December 2015 City of York, in partnership with Make It York.

About Shadowing:

Shadowing trailer by Benjie Croce

Shadowing invites interaction between people who share a space. This could be as simple as walking together, or more complex gestures could occur - a wave hello, a hop, or a dance. In Bristol we saw an incredible array of playful, thoughtful and creative responses, from those who lay on the groud to leave the shadow equivalent of a snow angel behind, to 10-person conga lines, breakdancing displays and wheelbarrow races with citizens trying to defeat the earlier shadow of themselves. 

Shadowing - film by Drew Cox

Shadowing offers passers-by a glimpse of those who have walked the same path moments, days or weeks before, at times like ghostly time travellers, at others more like a more playful Peter Pan. As well as peeling back the traces of the city’s nooks and crannies, Shadowing offers an exploration of the disconnectedness that technology can create between strangers, the role of light in creating a city’s character, and the unseen data layers and surveillance culture that pervades our contemporary urban spaces. 


Images © Watershed by Toby Farrow of Farrows Creative

The team

After winning the Playable City Award, Jonathan and Matthew set up Chomko & Rosier, a design studio creating new ways of engaging with technology.

Jonathan Chomko

Jonathan Chomko is an interaction designer. Born in Toronto, Canada, he holds a BsC in Interaction Design from the University of Malmo, Sweden. His primary focus is the design of compelling interactive experiences. He has worked with CSTEP, an inter-disciplinary research organization based in Bangalore, India, guest-lectured at Norges Kreative Fagskole in Oslo, Norway, and collaborated with artists, designers and dancers to create interactive experiences and installations. Most recently he was awarded a year-long research fellowship at Fabrica, in Treviso, Italy. His work has been shown at the Sydney Opera House, Nuit Blanche Montreal, the Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, and Mobile Museum in Hong Kong.

jonathanchomko.com  @jtchomko 

Matthew Rosier

Matthew Rosier, a British designer, has a background in architecture and urbanism. His work lends to a vision of cities that encourage interaction rather than isolation. Matthew graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in architecture after which he went on to work at West London-based design studio Michaelis Boyd. Currently he is undertaking a one-year residency scholarship at Fabrica, a research centre funded by Benetton, based in Treviso, Italy. In October 2014 Matthew will begin a two-year architecture masters at the Bartlett, University College London.

matthewrosier.com  @mattrosier

Jonathan and Matthew met at Fabrica, a communication research centre located in Treviso, Northern Italy.

Find out more why the judges chose Shadowing from the Playable City Award shortlist.

Playable City is supported by:

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
Bristol and Bath British Council Future Cities Catapult Playable City Award Sponsor Logo Guardian Cities