Digital Placemaking Prototypes

Over the last year we’ve been working with our Fellows and Partners exploring the theme of Digital Placemaking. We've explored questions of belonging, safety, hope and power in public spaces and imagined clocks that look like maps, stories that shift with the weather and invisible networks made material and reconfigurable.

These conversations formed the basis of a call for ideas that expand our understanding of the intersection of digital and physical space and the role of culture in the new digital infrastructure. We asked for ideas that demonstrate an awareness of the importance of co-creation and project design that puts people at the centre of the work, is accessible and inclusive, transparent and trustworthy. The call is now closed but you can read the brief here.

We're pleased to announce the funded prototype projects which we believe will challenge what the future of Digital Placemaking can deliver for us, our communities and the sector .


City ID and Calvium – in collaboration with Bristol City Council – have been commissioned to explore the potential for an exciting new digital application that connects people with the events and activities that occur in Bristol’s streets, spaces and venues.

Initially, the team will develop an experimental prototype that responds to your location and preferences, revealing activity relevant to you in a time sensitive way. New and existing data sources will be combined to reveal the quirky, hidden and surprising sides of city life – making the invisible, visible. Using new and intuitive forms of interaction, these cultural events will be presented spatially on detailed mapping, unique to Bristol.

As part of the digital placemaking project, this commission aims to explore and measure the potential value of these kinds of capabilities for visitors and residents alike. This commission will examine how promoting interaction between people and place, could lead to a greater sense of inclusion or belonging. The team will explore the appetite for such an application within Bristol and determine the feasibility of enabling new forms of engagement with the city’s cultural life.

City ID develop unique design, information and wayfinding solutions to integrate people, movement and places. As pioneers of the Legible City concept, City ID have worked in cities all over the globe and continue to work with Bristol and Bath, developing, implementing and evolving the pedestrian wayfinding system.

Calvium are specialists in designing and developing robust mobile applications to create engaging customer experiences, and map-based cultural and accessible wayfinding platforms.

Pop Map Bristol Cover Image


Everything is Music

Bristol and Bath have long been a birthplace for new frontiers in music. Music is the living blueprint of a city through time. Everything Is Music will track, celebrate and explore the disparate and interlinked stories that have contributed to this unique musical fabric.

A range of location based experiences built around newly commissioned pieces, unheard archival works and classic material will form an immersive journey through the sounds of Bristol and Bath.

The Everything Is Music project delivery team will be comprised of personnel from Crack Magazine and Landmrk.

Landmrk create location-based campaigns that allow people to unlock unique content in real-world locations. They’ve worked on high-profile music-related projects for artists like Ariana Grande, Keith Richards, Louis Tomlinson and more. Crack Magazine is Europe’s biggest independent music magazine. From humble Bristol beginnings, they’ve gone on to deliver ambitious collaborations with artists like Björk, Massive Attack, Thom Yorke, FKA twigs, IDLES and Gorillaz.

Everything is Music image

Benjamin Book | Crack Magazine

Stupid Cities

Joseph Wilk (Project Designer):

"Stupid Cities aims to improve the social equality of our cities by using placemaking tools to highlight how their current design creates disability. As a wheelchair user my motivation for this project is to scream and shout about the constant barrage of times I’m told I do not belong in public spaces. Having to risk personal safety to try move around badly designed cities. How our digital route finding and placemaking tools ignore important factors for wheel-based transportation like gradient, obstacles, surface roughness, undipped curbs, narrow pavements, parked cars, stairs, etc. Environments full of micro-aggressions stop people engaging in society."

The Stupid Cities team believe in deeply people-centred forms of digital placemaking, where the tools of automation are combined with collective human intelligence and social impact. They will be creating tools initially for wheelchair users to record their experiences journeying through public spaces. Using this placemaking data to find new ways of seeing our public space with respect to access. Creating physical sculptures, street art and advocacy events that give visibility in public spaces of the invisible obstacles in our cities.

Their drive is to create tools to empower, connect allies to share & create visibility for world wide change.

Little Lost Robot

A new CIC founded by a partnership between Artists Ruby Jennings and Joseph Wilk. Coming from contrasting artistic backgrounds their skills are wide ranging, from structural set design to creative coding. They wish to use technology to create a vision of the future that is non-slick, human centric and gloriously humane in all its messy domestic parts.

Stupidcities 02

Stupid Cities


augmenting places

boomsatsuma and Iconic Black Britons have been commissioned to showcase the intersections of culture, creativity and difference, co-constructing a collective AR experience of place. The digital placemaking project will make specific, location-based art and culture tangible, through AR animation of local art and spatialized audio.

The commission will deliver a prototype that offers a dynamic and purposeful alternative to current AR tours, creating a product that will demonstrate its ability to enhance art, culture and heritage, celebrating the impact of place on creative practices and, in turn, the impact of creative practices on place. The product will be co-constructed to exhibit culture specific to the Seven Saints of St Pauls Mural Project but the technology has the intelligence to exhibit any content, in any space or location.

boomsatsuma is an organisation set up to deliver the highest quality arts and creative opportunities to young people in the West of England. Boom is adept at building creative partnerships with organisations all over the UK and the rest of Europe; co-construction is crucial to their processes. Traditionally, they have worked with disadvantaged communities to enrich their lives through art and digital media, using high quality interventions to empower and train.

Iconic Black Britons aims to fill the gap of multicultural representation within British society. Each of our projects forms a legacy that will transform the visual and cultural landscape of the UK. We work diligently to connect divided communities through arts and culture by celebrating the influence of the African Caribbean diaspora on Britain’s cultural identity. We promote integration and inclusion to improve community relations across the UK. Iconic Black Briton’s ‘Seven Saints of St Pauls®’ heritage trail, features a permanent outdoor gallery comprised of seven large scale murals that memorialise seven vanguards of the Windrush generation on exterior walls throughout St Pauls.

Seven Saints Murals St Pauls BMS3630 2