Interactive star project wins Oxford contest for new smart city ideas

A new project that will map the night sky onto the streets of Oxford has been announced as the winner of the Smart Oxford Playable City Commission.

The initiative challenged artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative practitioners from around the world to propose distinctive ideas on the ‘shared city’ theme, making use of the Oxford’s existing infrastructure and smart city technologies to create a more connected and collaborative city.

Guerilla Dance Project’s Star Light, Star Bright will create a city-wide interactive constellation using Internet of Things (IoT) networked, touch activated lights embedded in the ground and mounted on walls.

Placed in clusters across the city, the lights will encourage people to gather together to map constellations from the night sky. Each “star” will shine brighter as more are activated, until the final star launches super bright beams of light – bathing the people beneath in a constellation of stars.

The 29 winter constellations visible from Oxford will be located across the city.

According to the designers of the project, it will bring life to dark, winter streets and connect strangers for “a shared moment of discovery and wonder”.

Laura Kriefman, founder of Guerilla Dance Project, commented: “Having been actively involved in the Playable City movement for years, it is great to be able to create a city-wide piece in the UK. Guerilla Dance Project can’t wait to make the stars shine bright, for all the citizens of the beautiful City of Oxford.”

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, added: “The Oxford Playable Cities competition has attracted exciting entries from across the globe but we are pleased to see Star Light Star Bright as the worthy winner.”

“We know that this project will capture the imagination of those who live, visit and work in and around Oxford. Bringing smart technology and thinking to new and existing audiences helping to put Oxford and Oxfordshire at the heart of influencing how future cities will interact with citizens.”

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