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A Guide For Creating A Playable City
Ryan Swanson

Play is universal, and it can be applied as a powerful tool within the development of our urban infrastructure moving forward. And yet, the term “play” is often disregarded and undervalued in the discussions around architecture, urban development, and city change. “A Guide for Creating a Playable City” explores the idea of a “Playable City” as an ecosystem of playable opportunities intertwined within the existing urban infrastructure that doesn’t just disrupt our daily lives but adds to it. Looking at how play can begin to exist in everyday spaces, and encourage people to think about these spaces that could become PLAYces: like a crosswalk, laundromat, park bench, lamp post, bus stop, or just the everyday space in-between. How these often once dull or underutilized situations can turn into stimulating, creative outlets for social interaction and community activity through the playable city ethos. The guide uses qualitative and quantitative data around various playable projects implemented around the world to dissect the impact of play on our built environment. This is not a step-by-step approach to creating a playable city, but instead a conversation starter about the impact play can have on the identity, health, social, and economic values of our cities.

Bio Ryan Swanson is an architect, lecturer, and founder of The Urban Conga, an international award-winning multidisciplinary design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. His work is focused on using open-ended play to sparking community activity and social interaction in everyday spaces. He achieves this by creating inclusive, engaging, and site-specific work that evokes creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning within the built environment. Through his work, Ryan has collaborated with organizations, businesses, governments, and universities worldwide delivering playable interventions, workshops, lectures, development plans, and public policy recommendations.

Softcover, 5"x8", 64 pages