News

Fourth international Playable City Award is now open

Posted on Tue 12 Jul 2016
Urbanimals 2015 Award Winner

We are delighted to announce the global call for submissions for the £30,000 Playable City Award 2016 is now open, inviting this year’s applicants to respond to the theme of Journeys.

With more than half the world’s population now living in cities, transport infrastructure is a key investment area of the smart city, with communication networks joining up sensors to connect services and make efficiencies. But how people feel about their journeys - how they use their time, and how they connect with others - is often overlooked. A Playable City approach to urban journeying re-appropriates infrastructure and technology to start new conversations, imagine new futures and make human connections across the city.

Artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative practitioners who can demonstrate a history of delivering high‐quality, innovative practice are invited to propose distinctive ideas on the theme, making use of creative technologies, that make our cities more liveable, hopeful and collaborative. Previous Playable City Award winners have captured significant global attention and toured worldwide from Austin to Bordeaux, Singapore to Tokyo, so the winning idea must reflect this ambition for international reach, allowing it to be installed in a wide range of city environments. The call for applications will remain open until Wed 31 August.

As cities grow and populations increase, how we get from A to B affects a city’s well-­being and economic development, and transport is a key concern across the globe; for example, the average commute time in Lagos is four hours, every Sunday in Mexico City 35 miles of street are given over to bikes and pedestrians and more than 600 cities worldwide have a bike-sharing programme. The theme of Journeys is broad - a winning idea may address waiting, navigation or transit; it may connect people on public transport, use city bike infrastructure or explore areas of transition from physical crossings to transport interchanges.

In addition to the £30,000 award, the R&D commission also offers dedicated practical support and guidance as well as generous access to facilities to enable the creators to realise their ideas. Whilst prototyping their project at our Pervasive Media Studio here in Bristol, they will also become part of a vibrant community of artists and creative technologists, providing extensive opportunities for collaboration.

Clare Reddington, Creative Director of Watershed and Executive Producer of the Playable City Award, says

“This year's award reflects the experience and learning that has come from our international Playable City network over the last three years. We are excited that the new theme will inspire projects that can scale globally and reflect our growing global network of creatives from Lagos to Tokyo.”

Find out how to apply. Good luck!