British Council Creative Economy

Menu Show search

22 February 2015

Third International Playable City Award Open for Submissions

Following the international success of Hello Lamppost (winner 2013) and Shadowing (winner 2014), the Playable City Award returns for its third year.


Watershed is delighted to announce the call for submissions for the £30,000 Playable City Award 2015 is now open. Creatives from around the world are invited to propose distinctive ideas that put people and play at the heart of the Future City.

All over the world governments and tech companies are investing in smart systems for cities, using communication networks and sensors to join up services, collect data and make efficiencies. The Playable City Award asks us to imagine how we might use these same technologies to make our cities more livable, hopeful and collaborative. The winning proposal will be installed in Bristol, UK for the public to play in autumn 2015.

The Playable City Award, which has captured significant global attention, is open to artists and creatives from all disciplines, from any country. As well as a £30,000 award, the commission offers practical support and generous access to facilities to enable the creators to realize their ideas. Whilst making their project, they will also become part of a vibrant community of artists and creative technologists at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol - providing extensive opportunities for collaboration. The winners will also travel to Japan in Autumn 2015, to share their project as part of Watershed and British Council’s Playable City Tokyo programme.  The call for applications will remain open until 17:00 GMT on 7 April 2015 and a shortlist will be announced on 5 May 2015.

 The Playable City Award was established by Watershed in 2013, and has so far received applications from countries including USA, Japan, China, Uganda, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand, Brazil and Denmark. The first recipients of the award was design and research studio PAN, Tom Armitage and Gyorgyi Galikfor their project Hello Lamp Post which received huge global attention and is currently installed in Austin, Texas as part of SXSW. Last year’s winner, Shadowing, created by Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier has also gone on to secure international acclaim and is nominated in the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award.

The award winner will be judged by a panel of industry experts including Tom Uglow, Director of Google Creative Labs, Sydney, Copenhagen-based play researcher Miguel Sicart, Claire Doherty, Director of Situations, with more judges to be announced in the coming weeks.  

Clare Reddington, Creative Director of Watershed and Executive Producer of the Playable City Award, says, “The international interest in Playable City has been phenomenal, both in terms of applications and requests to host the work. The award celebrates and reflects everything that is interesting, innovative and collaborative about Bristol – and I can’t wait to select a new project to share with the city and the world.”

For more information or to apply please visit Watershed's website: