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Bristol's 'Hello, Lamp Post!' Digital Makeover Invites Public To Chat To Street Furniture

27/06/2013 11:10 | Updated 27 August 2013

A swarm of digital lamp posts you can talk to via text message are to be installed in Bristol next month as part of a 'playable' digital makeover for the city.

The 'Hello, Lamp Post!' project was announced as the winner of Watershed's inaugural Playable City Award earlier this year.

Designed by PAN Studio, the project "invites [residents] to try a new way of communicating... to slow down, reflect and give themselves permission to play."

playable city

Lamp posts, posts boxes and other street furniture in Bristol all have unique codes to help the local authorities work out which are in need of repair. Using these codes, residents will be able to "wake up" sleeping objects with text messages and find out what they have to say.

"Will it be pleased to see you? Irritated at having been left in the rain? Or will it tell you a secret? Each exchange will last for a few messages before you are asked to come back and talk some more another day. The more you play, the more the hidden life of the city will be revealed."

The project will run in Bristol from 15 July to 8 September, with signs around the city letting residents and visitors know how to get involved.

Ben Barker, co-creator of Hello Lamp Post and co-founder of PAN Studio, said in a statement:

"We're incredibly excited to unleash Hello Lamp Post around the city this summer. We hope it will unlock the secrets, stories and experiences of Bristol's people through Bristol's objects. We have been developing the game mechanics and finessing conversation styles of the text messages that we hope will inspire Bristolians to converse and play with their street furniture - and ultimately each other, as they'll get to discover more about other passers by in their vicinity. The more people take part the more fun for all, so do give it a go!"

Check out how it works in the video above. The full list of 10 shortlisted ideas can be found below:

Playable City Awards
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