In September and October this year Bristol is going to be invaded by Urbanimals, a fun-loving pack of wild beasts who will be waiting for people to play with them in unexpected places across the city.

As part of the Playable Cities project you will be able to chase a shy rabbit down the pavement, skip with a cheeky kangaroo or leap in the air with a dolphin – all with the sole intent of brightening up your day.


Time to play: The actions of the Urbanimals will be triggered by people passing or stopping


Urbanimals were announced as the winners of the 2015 international Playable City Award, a £30K prize given to creatives to make Bristol a more liveable, hopeful and collaborative place to be. It will be created by the Laboratory for Architectural Experiments, LAX, an experimental design team based in Poland, who describe themselves as practising ‘at the edge of architecture’. The Urbanimals will be fully interactive and are created using projectors and sensors.

“Bringing people together through play in forgotten areas of the city lies at the heart of what we do”


“Bringing people together through play in forgotten areas of the city lies at the heart of what we do”, say Anna Grajper, Sebastian Dobiesz from LAX, “with Urbanimals we want to highlight the city’s hidden value and treasures inspiring residents to consider their environment in new and unexpected ways, we want to stimulate their senses and inject a sense of excitement and wonder into the everyday urban landscape.”

 Almost 200 applicants wanted to play in Bristol

URBANIMALS_dolphin 385x385The project was chosen from a shortlist of 7 innovative ideas, which itself was whittled down from 197 applications from 60 different countries. Richard Roberts, one of the Judging panel, from Jason Bruges Studio said, “It was the positive impact that these pieces could make to everyday city journeys that won me over.”

The idea will be brought to life with help from producers at the Pervasive Media Studio at Bristol’s Watershed – which hosts and promotes technologists, creative companies, artists and academics exploring creative technology.

You can keep up to date with the latest about the competition from Playable Cities by following them on Twitter: @PlayableCity

Image and gif credits: Urbanimals – LAX laboratory for architectural experiments (Anna Grajper, Sebastian Dobiesz)

Jamie Middleton