Preview of Urban Play: The Exhibition

Image Credit: Mark Jenkins

With Milan just around the corner, Droog and I have been putting together a few communication documents for Amsterdam’s 2008 International Design Biennale – Experimenta Design (EXD08), of which Urban Play will be the main event. Doing this, I realised the majority of public attention right now is on the new designs being created for the project. These are staggering, believe me. But in parallel to the design work is the work that’s being put into the Urban Play exhibition. So as a taster, here’s the PR info that’s going to be released about the show in Milan:

Urban Play: The Exhibition
international unauthorized collaborations and urban interventions

The Urban Play exhibition will provide a global overview of urban design interventions done by the public, for the public. While some refer to the latest wave of urban creativity as guerrilla design, and others term it “3D Graffiti”, the common definition is that this work is where creative expression in the city streets becomes physical and is literally transforming cities around the world. Done without permission or commissions, the vast range of work on display represents, as the title states, unauthorised collaborations which exist at the intersection of the latest genre of street art and the beginnings of open source urban design. The Urban Play exhibition will show how this latest wave of urban intervention is not only challenging the rules of engagement between people and allowed creative expression in the city, but is also changing the language of creativity in the city. While social attitudes have previously dismissed urban intervention as a form of vandalism, at the heart of the current wave of guerrilla design is in fact a deeply sophisticated movement with a dedicated attitude concerning their role in the life of the city. The Urban Play exhibition is the definitive overview of the next wave of street art and the creative urban interventions that are literally transforming cities around the world.

The Urban Play project is conceived and curated by Scott Burnham and produced by Droog Design. For both the exhibition and the design commissions which create the Amsterdam route the renowned Dutch design studio Thonik ( will provide the design of the interface and interactive media campaign.