Playable City Sandbox 2023

Playable City is an international initiative that puts play at the heart of cities, sparking imagination and conversation about inclusion, sustainability, surveillance and the future of public space. 

Playable City Sandbox is a creative research and development programme that provides artists, designers, and other creatives with opportunities to turn experimental ideas into working prototypes.

As part of the resources provided to the Sandbox cohort, I provided coaching sessions for all six prototype teams. These projects incorporated a range of production and material technologies, including inflatable robotics, conductive textiles, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more. In our sessions, we covered a range of topics ranging from onboarding participants, touring their projects, legibility, business models, code-switching for different audiences, and more. Working with all these brilliant teams was such an inspiration and a delight.

Playable City’s early stage prototypes publicly showcased took place Mon 3 – Sun 9 July 2023, across six outdoor locations in Bristol.

The featured projects and teams included:

How (Not) to Get Hit by a Self-Driving Car, Tomo Kihara and Studio Playfool

Fireflies, GlitchAR and Screaming Color

House of Weaving Songs, dhaqan collective

Squeeze Me, Air Giants

Street Pixel, Biome Collective

Zoomscape Zoetrope, Jack Wates and Thomas Blackburn

This iteration of Playable City Sandbox was supported by MyWorld. MyWorld is the flagship for the UK’s creative sector and is part of a UK-wide exploration into devolved research and development funding. Funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund, MyWorld is Led by the University of Bristol, the £30 million programme is made up of 13 partners from the West of England region’s creative technologies sector and world-leading academic institutions to create a unique cross-sector consortium.