George and Tine, photo courtesy of Andrew Sleigh
George and Tine, photo courtesy of Andrew Sleigh

PLAYABLE CITY: Andrew in Recife


10 June 2015

Our Creative Producer, Andrew Sleigh, is currently in Recife, Brazil, as part of the Playable City project in partnership with Watershed in Bristol. The Playable City is an international initiave that brings together creative producers, artists and technologists to create new projects that reimagine public spaces. Here's Andrew's update on the first week of research and collaboration.

Recife, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Andrew Sleigh.
Recife, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Andrew Sleigh.

We have been in Recife for a few days as part of the Playable City project, but the intensity of the work makes it feel like much longer. We are deeply immersed in the process of developing our ideas, and testing prototypes, so this blog post marks an opportunity to pause, take a breath and reflect – briefly – on some impressions (and images) of the process so far. Here are a few, of many I could have chosen.

Collaboration is hard

Pictured above are George and Tine, enjoying a moment of camaraderie. Collaboration can sometimes be immensely rewarding, bring people together, and help forge new friendships. But often it demands a great deal of input for what seems like a small amount of effort. We’ve all had to dig deeply into our personal resources to make it work through the rough patches.

The city buzzes with life

The urban environment in Recife is fascinating for a visitor. One aspect I love is the emergence of nature in the built environment. While this could be taken as a symbol of nature breaking through man-made artifice, I take this image (pictured right) as a sign of the vitality of the city. Life and growth are everywhere. It gives me the hope that a playable city is not a challenge, but an inevitability.


Meeting new cultures

Working with our Brazilian colleagues has been a deeply rewarding learning experience. Eduardo, here, is testing a circuit for a prototype. He’s doing some serious work. He’s also wearing a ridiculous ’Brazilian Viking’ hat. I don’t think you’d expect to see this kind of professionalism mixed with silliness in the UK, but here, it’s barely noticed. There are so many moments like this that working here is constant barrage of new cultural experience. It’s exhausting, exciting, and a fertile environment for play.

Now, back to work.


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