Hello Lamp Post: SXSW ’15 Art Project


Hello Lamp Post Austin – February- April 2015

Official Art Project of SXSW 2015

City-Wide Interactive Exploration of Austin!

Event Dates: February 12 – April 27, 2015

• Experience Austin in a creative and innovative way •

Our friends at the City of Austin and Art Alliance Austin have announced the newest rendition of the immensely popular Hello Lamp Post,   in celebration of Austin Art in Public Places program’s 30th anniversary year.

The public art project, first lanuched in Bristol, England, will  run February 12 through April 27, 2015.

Join this heralded and one-of-a-kind international project, which successfully blends art and technology to explore our personal connections to a place. Charge up your digital devices and get ready to engage with Austin is an epic way!

Hello Lamp Post, an interactive art project-slash-game that allowed passersby in Bristol to converse via SMS message with postboxes and other objects, was so successful that it is traveling to Brazil next year, and may even be a feature at next year’s SXSW in Austin. — , “Internet Of Things,” FastCompany.

Art Alliance Austin Announces Hello Lamp Post Art Project

According to the ArtAllianceAustin.org website, “Hello Lamp Post is a city-wide platform for play. This is an opportunity to rediscover your local environment, share your memories of the city and uncover the stories that other people leave behind. Hello Lamp Post encourages you to look at the city with fresh eyes and engage with systems we take for granted. This is a chance to slow down, reflect and give yourself permission to play.

Hello Lamp Post is an interactive system that gives everyone in Austin a new tool to talk with each other, through prompts and questions – all facilitated by the city’s physical infrastructure. By referencing the thousands of pre-existing identifier codes that label items of street furniture across the whole city, players can send text messages to particular objects, including (but not limited to) lamp posts, mail boxes, utility boxes, manholes, or telephone poles. A special thanks to our supporting sponsor the Downtown Austin Alliance.

Hello Lamp Post 2015 Poster  -  Zak Stone Fast Company

Hello Lamp Post 2015 Poster – Zak Stone Fast Company

This Entire City Of Inanimate Objects Can Now Talk To You Via Text

 “Hello Lamp Post” is a project that gives voice to the infrastructure in Bristol, England, by letting anyone with a phone text with mailboxes, fire hydrants, and lampposts. What will the lamppost say, is the question. —Zak Stone, Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Fast Company article by Zak  Stone

Image courtesy of Fast Company article by Zak Stone

In his post, Stone states, “Hello Lamp Post” is the Simon and Garfunel-inspired citywide initiative that lets Bristol’s streets speak—via text message. It happens that each postbox, drain, and other elements of “street furniture” in Bristol comes with a unique code. Research and design studio PAN saw that as an opportunity to create new interactions on the street.”

PAN, the research and design studio that recognized that these seemingly innocuous ‘codes’ as a chance to build unique and engaging conversations amongst people on the street, has posted some of the press coverage about their innovative platform.

Per Stone’s article, “PAN was the winner of Bristol’s 2013 Playable City Award, a prize that includes £30,000 to make the project happen. The competition focuses on creative approaches to “using existing city infrastructure to make an open, hospitable, and playful experience which encourages you to notice and interact with what is around you,” as opposed to the “smart city” movement, whose put-a-touch-screen-on-it ethos can obscure lower-tech interventions.

Additional Coverage

Watershed, Playable City Article states,

Hello Lamp Post! invites audiences to tune in to the secret conversations of the city and communicate through lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and other street furniture. Part game, part story, anyone can play by texting in a unique code found on the city’s familiar street objects.

Will you participate? Were you a part of the Bristol Hello Lamp Post project?

We want to hear from you! Place your questions or comments below and check back for updates about Hello Lamppost in Austin!


Hello Lamp Post: Austin is commissioned by the City of Austin in partnership with Art Alliance Austin.

Supporting Sponsor: Downtown Austin Alliance

Official Art Project of SXSW 2015

Cultural Partners: Waller Creek Conservancy, Austin Technology Council, Landmarks – The Public Art Program of the University of Texas at Austin

Originally developed for Watershed’s Playable City Award 2013 (UK)


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