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Stories from the world of Urban Play


Hello! I am Sinem!

I am a 25 years old architect, master of urban design student, street art wonderer and a futurist from Turkey. Although I don’t call myself a graphic designer I have also been creating in the graphic design field since my bachelor years as a freelancer.

While studying architecture for my bachelor degree at Gazi University-Turkey and Politecnico di Milano-Italy, I have participated in many international/national design workshops where I got the chance to design different urban games and also a few playgrounds for kids as well as for adults while believing that “play” is not only for children.

Currently I am about to finalize my urban design master studies with my thesis based on an urban storytelling board game called “Co-gnito” which aims to understand peoples urban perception and to create a collective cognitive spatial map as a valuable input for urban designers. The fact that gaming hasn’t been explored widely in terms of its capacity of raw qualitative data collection from city users was my main starting point while designing Co-gnito which resulted in designing a tangible storytelling game where players add-on each others stories and experiences in a specific context and reflect their spatial feelings. It has been designed during my research studies at KU LEUVEN-Belgium and currently being tested at Middle East Technical University-Turkey. Serious gaming especially in the field of urban studies is my major research interest which I am willing to build my professional carreer on while I am also highly interested in educational shildren board games focusing on gender equality in terms of societal mission stereotypes or profession selection. By September 2019 I will finalize my thesis studies in Turkey and start my second masters degree at University College London.

Besides my academic background, I have a special interest on street art and for some years now, have been travelling to see and document street art works around the world. One of my biggest goals is creating an AR based game on street art works.

It was really nice to read all of your stories :slight_smile:

Best wishes from Turkey!
With love,


Hello, Dilbar! I believe I know you) Nice to see you here)))


Hi! My name is Dani and I find this opportunity fantastic. I believe in collaboration and I am interested in urbanity and in gaming. “Games” have always played a vital role in my art projects.

I am a filmmaker, artist and independent researcher born in Bucharest, Romania. I would really want to develop a challenging game in this period of my life. It would be awesome.



Hello everyone! I am quite late to the party, but despite barely finding free time to sleep these days, I really wanted to throw my hat in the ring for this wonderful project and become part of the community that surrounds it.
My name is Paul and I am a game designer from Berlin in Germany. My interest lies in designing and playing performative non-digital games where players are encouraged to unleash their own creative energies in co-creation and learn to trust their ability to cause change in all parts of life. I am especially interested in the theme of personal memories, as in my understanding they imbue the pre-designed and often commodified everyday with personal meaning and therefore appropriate it as a space for living and active relating to others, rather than for passive consumption.
I took part in several international training schools before and had great experiences of different cultural contexts, different methods of teamwork, and made connection to wonderful people in the field. I hope to continue this story here - so hope to meet some of you soon or engage in others ways with each others impact in the world of play.
If you want to have a look at my work, please check my webpage at


Of course! Let’s make it happen! Nice to see so many people from Berlin on here. :raised_hands:


You are not late at all, the party is just warming up :smiley:


Hi all, great to hear about the projects you’ve been involved with. And actually such a good way to run an open call – applicants get to see what others in the same field are up to and make connections, rather than everything going into the black hole of an organisational email account, with only those selected benefitting. I hope we all keep in touch :wink:

About me… I’m a British artist, currently based in Portugal. I’m interested in questions of permission in the public realm – who is allowed to do what in which spaces? what kinds of behaviour do we self-police in public space? how does ownership of space affect its use? These are the kinds of things I like to poke and prod at in my games. There’s political and activist elements to what I do, but these usually surface for players on reflection after playing a game, rather than being its ‘purpose’ or ‘lesson’, and everything can be played just for the fun of it if people like.

A recent game I devised for public space was the ‘May Day Trolley Joust’: a take over of a small disused arena in central Glasgow, as part of the city’s art biennial, for the public to joust each other in shopping trolleys using props scavenged from the streets. The game reflected on the use by the city’s marketing board of particular kinds of “cheeky” delinquency to present Glasgow as a place with playful, humorous and creative citizens, or in their words “People Make Glasgow”. Something unplanned that I particularly liked about the joust, was on the way home after the event (pushing brightly decorated shopping trolleys with scavenged foam lances sticking out), I bumped into someone who had wanted to join in but missed it… we spontaneously set up the joust on the public green we were walking through for them to play, and lots of passers by joined in, making an unofficial anarchic joust after the planned anarchy of the official scheduled joust.

The current game I’ve been working on is called ‘Enclosures’. It’s a playground-style group game for all ages to play in public space. It is a playful elegy for community assets lost to privatisation. Using a crowd-sourced list of enclosures of the commons (from land-grabs to sell-offs of public organisations and resources), players write the names of enclosed assets on the floor with chalk and then attempt to either encircle these names or defend them using whatever means necessary. Each time the game is played, more names of enclosures are added to the crowd-sourced list, meaning it grows with the people who play it. So far the game has been played at ‘Something Beautiful’ art festival in Brussels and in a public square in Lisbon. If anyone fancies giving the game a go, full instructions are online here: And for a swatch at my general website you can see




Hey everyone,

big thanks for posting stories, links and comments here.
We are blown away by the response and can’t wait to continue the conversation in many ways.

To those who submitted an application - we will send out emails confirming that we received your materials on monday, detailing the timeline for the next steps of the process.

Have a good weekend for now :slight_smile:


Hi, I am alex from vienna, austria!

Oh gosh, is it too late? :frowning:
I hope I can still apply,…
But never the less, this space looks interesting and I want to join conversations none the less!

So what do I do? Usually I sit lots in front of a computer, typing things and cursing a little (Web Developer), but when I am not, I tend to read a lot about video games (much more than I actually play!) and gaming in general.
Since I actually wanted to create video games, reality hit me, and I found it much more enjoyable to create and play urban games instead. With the help of play:vienna I got to test/create a game which I had in mind for a long long time, but never got around to make it or actually test it.
For that I am very gratefull, I even got to show it off in Germany, Bulgaria and the Netherlands!
I also helped several times to organize a “Journey to the end of the night” which is pretty fun but a lot of work!

Nowadays I want to create a new game which utilize the same mechanic of my previous game:
MP3 Players with a FM Transmitter which sends out Signals (short range!) and plain FM Radios, which receive those Signals!

Thanks for creating this and I hope to participate (in whatever form :slight_smile:)
have a nice weekend!


Hi @vierlex - yes, we did close the call yesterday. If you want, you can send us an application to - but we will give the people who made the deadline on time priority. In any case there will be a lot of ways to participate, stay tuned.


Hi Carolina!
Gladly!!! We are wrapping up the campaign’s “season 1” in 2 weeks and we’ll be back in September with a few interesting NPCs and you can choose the one that suits you best. Let’s stay in touch!


Hi Anne-Loraine,Gladly!!! We are wrapping up the campaign’s “season 1” in 2 weeks and we’ll be back in September with a few interesting NPCs and you can choose the one that suits you best. Let’s stay in touch!
My email:


This sounds like a big step in a direction to standardize and formalize some hard work in this area! I’m really curious, can you describe what you mean by phygital? :wink:


Enclosures looks FANTASTIC!! I’m really interested in playing this here in London :smiley:


its interesting this tension between know IP’s and making something perhaps a bit more…unfamiliar shall we say :wink:
I’ve really wanted to challenge myself these days by remixing known elements into something new, and wondering about who the audience is/what the sustainability for it could be. I tend to make a lot of work on the sly on my own time with other artists, and then once it had reached a point I package it up and offer it to bigger bodies who bring the audience to me. Currently as Bagel +Balloon, we’ve been spending our time developing around our other jobs and creative projects, and are lucky that the majority we do at this moment is in our fields. I keep forgetting that audiences do enjoy simple things, and then its good to complexify in stages :wink: what is this ‘Alice Wild’ you speak of?


huge and very valid questions. I want to return back to my hometown and make a piece of playable work, and really, to get the ball rolling I think I simply need to call up some people or a prospective partner and ask what everyone is into!


Hello Sam!

As a theatre maker who also fell hard for games once I got to know the scope of what is being made right now (check out Feral Vector, an amazing small festival here in the UK!), I know what you mean. I am very drawn to making something for the audience , and to me, I want to make the client my audience as well by hashing out the clearest common expectations possible. That is not always easy to do, but when I can it tends to open up space for more creativity. Starting your own company also piles on all the other duties besides making the art doesn’t it! As a creative director for your studio, what types of projets have led you to this crossroads?


Haha - I love the sound of the ‘May Day Trolley joust’ - particularly in Glasgow, I reckon the locals would really take to that. Thanks for sharing Enclosures too, it reminds me a bit of hopscotch. There’s a lot to say for low-tech, widely accessible play like this.


Hi Francine, your creative project work sounds exciting, variable and developing fast. ‘Alice Wild’ or ‘Alice in the Wilderlands’ is a purely hypothetical notion - so at this point it can be whatever we might want it to be, taking an exploration of the strange and the new as a starting point. Funnily enough, I’m writing a speculative fiction novel at the moment and found that I needed to fall back on the Alice in Wonderland style approach - so the first webinar was really timely advice for me. Putting readers in the middle of a group of nature spirits seemed to disorient them too much. I’m currently reworking the draft to make a human girl (Lal, not Alice) the main protagonist who finds herself in the middle of an incredible world.