The Urban Conga
Projects:Lucid Project: Albany
The Urban Conga is an international award-winning multidisciplinary design studio focused on promoting community activity and social interaction through open-ended play. We 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. As Plato once said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation,” and these are the exact moments we strive to create and advocate for all demographics to share through our work. As a key part of our studio we are exploring the idea for play to exist in everyday spaces, and encourage people to think about these spaces that could become PLAYces: like a crosswalk, park bench, street light, building facade, sidewalk, bus stop, or just the everyday space in-between. Looking at how these often once boring or underutilized situations can turn into stimulating creative outlets for social interaction and community activity through open-ended play. To create these PLAYces we utilize methods of participatory design workshops, a variety of multi-sensory technology, and both qualitative and quantitative research on the impact of the work in the community. Through this work, we have collaborated with public and private organizations and businesses, governments, and universities all around the US as well as in Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and the UK delivering workshops, lectures, urban interventions, playable products, custom installations, development plans, and public policy recommendations. Through our work, we continue to push the power of play for all within the development of our built environment.