Hello Lamp Post is live!

Posted on Mon 15 Jul 2013
Banners outside City Hall

From today and for the rest of the summer, Bristol residents and visitors can spark up conversations with the city, using any mobile phone (no smart phone required). As the first commission of Bristol’s Playable City Award produced by Watershed, Hello Lamp Post invites you to try a new way of communicating through lamp posts, post boxes and other familiar street furniture, by texting the unique codes found on each object.

Clare Reddington, Director of the Pervasive Media Studio says:

'We are so excited that Hello Lamp Post, recipients of our first Playable City Award is now live and ready to play. We had a brilliant afternoon tea party yesterday on College Green and were delighted that judges Imogen Heap and Claire Doherty were able to join us to launch the project and be amongst the first people to have a go.

With a project like this you don’t really know how people will interact with it until it begins – but the response from people playing on their way to work has already been incredible so we are very much looking forward to seeing it develop and grow as the summer rolls on.

The project has really captured international imagination and has succeeded in our aim to really promote Bristol as a creative technologies hub. Key has been the ability to play with any phone, anywhere in the city, so we are very much looking forward to people’s feedback and seeing just what and how they choose to wake the city up.'

So, how does it work? 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 become secret passwords that allow you to ‘wake up’ a sleeping object and discover what it has to say. Will it be pleased to see you? Irritated at having been left in the rain? Or will it tell you a secret? Each exchange will last for a few messages before you are asked to come back and talk some more another day. The more you play, the more the hidden life of the city will be revealed.

Hello Lamp Post was developed and created by Pan Studio to encourage people to look at their cities with fresh eyes, engage with street furniture that might have become commonplace to the point of invisibility, to slow down, reflect and give themselves permission to play.

There's a hub space right here at Watershed where you can drop in to find out more and tune into some of the other conversations happening around the city. So get outside and give it a try! Listen to the interview with Ben Barker of Pan Studio on Radio 4's Today programme.