Second international Playable City Award is now open

Posted on Mon 10 Feb 2014
Last year's Award winner

We are delighted to announce that the call for submissions for the Playable City Award 2014 is now open. Artists and creatives from around the world are invited to propose new ideas that will challenge the screen-based clichés of a smart city, and respond instead to cities as playable, open and configurable spaces.

The £30,000 award sits at the intersection of art, technology and culture, and applicants are encouraged to submit ideas that will use technology in an integrated and interesting way, injecting a sense of intrigue and meaning to public spaces. The winning idea will be publicly installed in Bristol later this year, with the potential to be toured to other cities around the world.

Clare Reddington, Executive Producer of the Playable City Award, says,

“When we launched the Playable City Award last year, we had no idea how keenly it would capture people’s imagination or how quickly it would achieve global interest and recognition. In 2014 we are again aiming to identify and reward ideas that respond to the context of the city, where openness and permission to play are key. We can’t wait to see what will be proposed this year and encourage all applicants to be as imaginative and daring as they can."

Watershed established the Playable City award in 2013, and we received over 100 applications from as far away as the US, Japan and Brazil. London's Pan Studio won with Hello Lamp Post, which enabled thousands of Bristolians to strike up conversations with physical objects around the city using text messages. We are thrilled that Pan Studio have gone on to be nominated in the Design Museum’s prestigious Designs of the Year 2014 competition.

Ben Barker, co-creator of inaugural Playable City winner Hello Lamp Post of PAN Studio, says,

"Taking part in the first Playable City was better than we ever expected, thanks to the quality of the brief and the energy and effort Watershed dedicated to developing and delivering the project with us.  The award outlined an exciting territory which encouraged us to think of the city as a place to be reclaimed for a playful, human experience, and it was amazing to give people of all ages and backgrounds in Bristol a chance to interact with their city.

He continues:

The moment we met the Watershed team we could tell we were part of something ambitious and the global interest in the project is proof.”

The winning project will be unveiled at the inaugural Making The City Playable Conference, produced by Watershed and taking place here 10 – 11 September.

Applications are open to individuals or teams from any field and from any country in the worl, making this Award truly international in scope. The call for applications will remain open until Fri 11 April.