Making the City Playable

Making the City Playable

Urbanimals - Image credit: Paul Blakemore

0117 927 5100

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Date Times
Thu 19 Oct 09:30
Ticket prices: £100.00 full / £50.00 concessions

09.30 - 17:00 (lunch provided)

All over the world, play is being embraced as an antidote to the anonymity of the urban environment. This one day conference will explore the theme of the Playable City and how public space, creativity and imagination combines to create unexpected interactions and a new kind of dialogue.

We will hear from people making transformative work in cities from Montreal to Mexico City, Lagos to Copenhagen, and explore the social and cultural issues that play is helping them to address. We will explore the challenges of making playful projects a reality and explore who feels welcome/able to access public space.

The one day programme will also feature playful interventions, lots of room for networking, debate and discussion and a chance to meet Watershed’s fifteen international city change makers – joining us on a three year programme to put people and play at the heart of their future city.

Confirmed speakers include:

Here's more information on the sessions:

  • Session One: Who Can Play?
  • Speakers: Clare Reddington, Miguel Sicart, Stuart Nolan, Erin Walsh

    Projects invoking play are more popular than ever before and are taking place all over the world. As the form matures, this session will interrogate the current state of play and ask questions about how play is perceived, what it means for human behaviour, and who playful interactions are designed for.

  • Session Two: How We Play
  • Speakers: Hilary O'Shaughnessy, Daniel Hirschmann, Pascale Daigle, Inua Ellams, Jen Stein

    We have seen a global movement of playful city interventions which fuse art, technology and urban innovation to engage with citizens and reclaim public space. An international mix of artists, producers, academics and policy makers will come together to share some practical insights from their work, and the discuss the environmental and cultural concerns they must address in very different places.

  • Session Three: Let's Play
  • Speakers/leaders: the Creative Producers International cohort

    Delegates will meet the fifteen city change makers from our new global talent development programme Creative Producers International, as they participate in a series of playful interventions across the city. Our Creative Producers will design these activities exclusively for our conference during a residential lab here at Watershed, and they will explore issues important to their own practice and cities.

  • Session Four: Where We Play
  • Speakers: Clarie Doherty, Clorinda Romo, Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, Seiichi Saito

    Across the world, including here in Bristol, protest feels like it is on the rise. We will examine the relationship between play and protest, and how those creating playful interventions are responding to an increasingly political environment in which public space feels increasingly contested. Practitioners from Mexico, Nigeria and the UK will discuss their experience of play as activism, and the lessons that can be shared internationally.

We will provide BSL and live captioning to accompany our all conference speakers. To ensure all participants experience a fully playful afternoon please let us know about any access requirements, using the typeform link included in your booking confirmation.

Any questions? Contact

Making The City Playable Conference is produced by Watershed and is part of the Festival of the Future City. It is supported by Arts Council England, British Council and UWE Bristol as part of Creative Producers International.