Droog Event 2: Urban Play


I created the tactical urbanism project Urban Play for the city of Amsterdam in collaboration with Droog Design to explore open approaches to design, public space and creativity in the city.

At its core, the concept I created was this: instead of taking the usual approach towards urban design, in which objects and areas are created to prevent alteration and intervention by the public, what if we created a series of urban design which invited it?

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Urban Play is the celebration of creativity in the city.

All cities, when reduced to their basic components, are the same: streets, buildings, sidewalks, alleys, and transportation. It is the individual touch that makes the difference. This touch can be as slight as a smiling face drawn on the stick figure of a crosswalk sign or as bold as a street sign bent in a sculptural shape. Urban Play demonstrates unauthorized interventions in public space by artists and creative minds from all over the world.

Urban Play also encourages city dwellers to be creative. Acknowledged international architects and designers, like Stefan Sagmeister (New York), NL Architects (Amsterdam) and Martí Guixé (Barcelona) were invited to create projects along the banks of the IJ-river in Amsterdam, that challenge the citizen.

This daring event, produced by Droog Design and curated by Scott Burnham was organised as part of the first edition of the biennale ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam 2008.