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Playable City Awards 2015 Shortlist

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by Startacus Admin

It is with the greatest pleasure that we share the news, that our favourite art / technology competition in the whole world has announced its 2015 shortlist.Playable City 2015

The Bristol based Playable City Award, which is now in its third year of existence, asked artists and creatives from around the world to propose new ways for people to engage with the open and public spaces of the city using technology. We know that this all sounds very confusing and abstract, but take a look at some of this year’s shortlisted projects, and you will see it’s really quite simple, as well as loads of fun!

There were almost 200 entries for this most thought-provoking of competitions, and now the top seven shortlisted projects are being considered by the panel of judges, who are keen to hear the opinions of the public! The winner of the award, which incidentally includes a £30,000 prize fund and admission to a vibrant community of creatives at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, will be announced on Tuesday June 9th!

For now, why not enjoy taking a look at this year’s finalists.

The 2015 shortlist projects:

Playable city award 2015Supernatural by Kevin Walker & Yuri Suzuki

Supernatural will reconnect the people of the city with the natural materials which can be found throughout it. They plan to do this by turning these materials (such as soil and water) into ‘magical musical instruments’ which play electronically produced music when interacted with.

Take a Seat by Happy City Lab

Take a Seat is hoping to break down the barriers between people in public spaces by making a technology inspired addition to that most common of urban objects, the park bench.Through a system of sensors and LEDs the bench will be able to attract the attention of passers-by, encouraging them to sit and interact through play.

Urbanimals by LAX laboratory for architectural experiments.Playable city award 2015

The intention behind Urbanimals is to encourage city dwellers to notice and appreciate those parts of the city which are often overlooked, or seen as merely a thoroughfare on the way to somewhere else. A dolphin, rabbit, kangaroo and beetle appear and create fun, mystery, and intrigue in the most mundane and unlikely of places. Who would win in a jumping competition, you or a kangaroo? If Urbanimals wins you might find out!

Lighting Conductor by Strange Thoughts Ltd

Lighting Conductor will use cutting edge motion sensor technology and a whole lot of lights to allow the people of the city to conduct their very own light orchestra using only motions of their body. For example, should the installation be placed in a park, a passer-by need only raise their arm to send a striking beam of light, illuminating paths, lawns and trees with a stunning display of colour.

Playable city award 2015Whispering Clouds by Tine Bech
In a quirky interplay between the natural environment and the digital world, two large clouds will be hoisted over the city, one of which will be listening for messages whilst the other whispers the secrets and messages it has collected. It will be a highly interactive installation that encourages pedestrians to communicate and play with it. It is, in a sense, the digital cloud made manifest above a Bristol street.

Puffin Jam by Unsworn Industries
In a concept which echoes the ‘Dancing Cross-Walk Man’ of Lisbon, Puffin Jam seeks to engage pedestrians in play and conversation at road crossings. It will do this by adding musical expressions to pedestrian crossings at selected sites across the city, controlled by newly installed push-button units, which will include a touch interface that allows users to create sound and interact with those at the opposite side of the street!

Why Sit When You Can Play by The Urban Conga
‘Why Sit When You Can Play’ turns boring and passive public benches into interactive and colourful, music-making machines! It will encourage people - young and old to come together through play and collaboration with music and light. They will be placed strategically in public areas and will invite passers-by to play and learn music through colour and creativity.

The Playable City Award Executive Producer Clare Reddington says: “In the third year of the Playable City Award, we are delighted not only with the huge international response to our call, but with the scope of the ideas presented and the breadth of talent it represents. The international interest in the Award confirms our belief that the Playable City theme connects across cultures, geography and creative disciplines. We are excited to share our shortlist with the public for their comment and review and look forward to launching the winner this summer at Watershed in Bristol”.

Pop over to the Watershed website for more details of this year’s projects and some info on how you can share what you think!

The winner of last year’s award was Shadowing, a very haunting projection display which remembers the silhouette of passersby and replays them in the dark.

Stay up to date with the progress of the award by following them on twitter or to find out more about this years shortlisted candidates and share your thoughts pop over to their website.


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Published on: 5th June 2015

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