Playable City Sandbox Projects

Six creative teams have each been awarded £45,000 to build an urban prototype that connects people to their city, thanks to Watershed’s Playable City Sandbox as part of MyWorld’s IDEAS programme. The below projects place play at the heart of the city, sparking imagination and conversation about inclusion, sustainability, surveillance and the future of cities. The prototypes will be showcased in Bristol in July 2023.

An image of children in the street interacting with one of Air Giants' soft robots.

Squeeze Me

(Air Giants)

Squeeze Me is an installation designed to provoke play and connection between strangers in an urban environment, using Air Giants’ novel inflatable soft robotic technology to provide a compelling and charming tactile and visual experience.


The House of Weaving Songs

(Dhaqan Collective)

The House of Weaving Songs is inspired by the Somali-style nomadic structure called the Aqal. The interactive installation will integrate Somali weaving songs and woven tapestries in an experiment to connect the city to cultural practices that can inspire us in our fight to tackle climate change. 

Boyce from Caravan Collective performs at the Metaverse Studio

Fireflies, a Glitch by Screaming Color and Arcane

(Glitch AR, Screaming Color)

Fireflies, a Glitch by Screaming Color and Arcane is next-generation street art brought to life through augmented reality (AR). Glitch AR are creating a transformative experience that turns Bristol’s streets into a colourful, sci-fi-infused digital jungle awash with spectacular visuals and music from local artists.

How (Not) to Get Hit by a Self-driving Car

(Tomo Kihara + Playfool )

In this intervention, passers-by are challenged to avoid being detected as humans by an AI-powered image recognition system. With the help of a machine learning model, a camera tries to detect human activity every three seconds. Anyone can join a game where they try to go from the beginning to the end of the court without being detected.


Street Pixel

(Biome Collective)

With a network of modules that replace existing paving slabs, Street Pixel transforms the pavement beneath your feet into a dynamic system of lights; drawing a path in front of you, linking you to another person or inviting you to play a game. Street Pixel is being developed with the general public and the environment in mind. It is a project that celebrates creative technology and a sustainable approach to materials and electronic hardware and we will be searching for sustainable solutions and opportunities at every step of the way. 

Zoomscape Zoetrope

(Jack Wates & Thomas Blackburn)

A zoetropic light experience, designed to be viewed from moving train windows upon arrival and departure from Bristol Temple Meads station. The proposal aims to capitalise on the railway as a cinematic space of arrival in the city to deliver a playful and memorable experience. 

To find out more about the projects please contact – Playable City Sandbox producer: Emma Boulton;