University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

USF Architecture Alumnus Ryan Swanson Releases Free Guide on Playable Cities

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
cover of book with illustration of people playing in an urban environment

A free publication by USF architecture alumnus Ryan Swanson is available now.

Titled “A Guide for Creating a Playable City,” the guide explores the idea of a "playable city" as an ecosystem of playable opportunities intertwined within existing urban infrastructure that adds value to daily life.

The guide looks 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, building facade, sidewalk, 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 idea of play.

The guide is supported by the British arts organization Watershed. Swanson was part of the organization's arts and urban design collective Creative Producers International for 2017 and 2018. He traveled to the U.K. and Japan with the collective, engaged in international discourse on creating playable cities, and worked on urban projects to active public spaces.

The guide is written by Ryan Swanson with visuals by Brooklyn-based illustrator and USF graphic design alumna Kati Lacker.

You can view the guide online for free on the Urban Conga website.

About The Urban Conga

The Urban Conga is an international award-winning design firm founded in 2014 by USF architecture alumnus Ryan Swanson. The Urban Conga focuses on promoting community activity and social interaction through open-ended play. The firm achieve this by designing, fabricating, and installing interactive installations, custom playable products, and immersive environments that spark creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning into the built environment. The Urban Conga was founded in Tampa, FL and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.