From Stockholm’s Piano Staircase to Bogota’s traffic mimes, a global movement of unusual city interventions is taking shape, using playfulness to connect people to each other and the places they live and work. We call it Playable City. On 10 and 11 September 2014, we are bringing together a brilliant group of thinkers, makers, planners and civil disobedients, to look at cities as playable places.
The Playable City is a people-centred counterpoint to the notion of the Smart City, a gateway to a city where serendipity, hospitality and openness are key. Public narratives around technology-driven cities often feature a fear of isolation, that community and conversation will be rendered extinct.
Convened by Watershed, the Festival of Ideas and UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre and featuring an extraordinary line up including Google Creative Lab’s Tom Uglow, DCRC’s Tine Bech, architect Usman Haque, digital engagement strategist Katz Kiely, artists Luke Jerram & Paolo Cirio, and Ogilvy’s Tara Austin this two-day international conference will explore the theme of the ‘Playable City’, asking what it might mean for citizens, urban planners, tech giants, small companies, artists and designers in imagining and making the cities of the future.
Amongst playful interventions, networking, debate and discussion, the conference will feature an academic strand with two contrasting panels – Forms of Engagement and Generations.
The academic strand is convened by Dr Michael Buser (Planning & Architecture, UWE Bristol), Dr Kirsten Cater (Computer Science, University of Bristol), Professor Jon Dovey (Screen Media, UWE Bristol), Associate Professor Mandy Rose (Digital Cultures, UWE Bristol) and Dr Angie Page (Policy Studies, University of Bristol).
Making the City Playable is co-produced by Watershed in partnership with University of the West of England, University of Bristol, Bristol City Council, Bristol Festival of Ideas, Future Cities Catapult and Arts Council England, in association with Guardian Cities and supported by conference partners Atkins and Bristol+Bath.