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Hello Lamp Post! by PAN wins Bristol’s Playable City Award


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 21, 2013 | 2 min read

It has been announced that Hello Lamp Post!, a mix between a game and a story which allows users to ‘communicate’ through lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and other street furniture, has won Bristol’s first Playable City Award with Watershed.

Created by London based experience design studio PAN, the project will not be produced and installed in Bristol this summer.

The ‘smart city’ approach is to augment them with technologies like digital displays, but Hello Lamp Post! seeks instead to make them playable using the codes that objects already have, which allow councils to tell what objects need fixed.

Users are invited to text the word ‘Hello + the name of the object + its code’ to the special phone number and the item of street furniture will immediately text you back with a question: with more being ‘revealed’ about the city the more questions are asked.

Ben Barker from PAN Studios, said: “This is a huge surprise. When we saw the quality of the shortlist, with work from so many names that we respect, we never imagined being selected. We are really flattered and excited to continue to develop the idea with Watershed on what makes a Playable City over the coming months. Our interest in the Playable City was rooted in its contrast to the smart city, the almost invisible structures that underpin modern services. We are asking people to wake up to street furniture and play with them in order to communicate with fellow citizens. We're excited to see what Bristol comes up with!”

The £30,000 commission seeks to create an original, future-facing work, which uses creative technology to explore the theme of the playable city.


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