In 2018 to reflect some of the work we have been doing, we are exploring themes around Playable Cities and the use of Public Space.

We have a great line up of speakers including:

Ryan Swanson (Tampa, USA)

ryan swanson urban congaRyan is a placemaker, designer, architect, fabricator, and an advocate of play.  He is also founder/CEO of the award-winning design firm The Urban Conga. The firm is focused on promoting community activity and social interaction through play. They achieve this by creating interactive installations and environments that spark creativity, exploration and free-choice learning. The idea was created as a way to activate underutilized spaces within Ryan’s home city of Tampa, Florida, and has since travelled as a concept across the USA (by campervan) and provides a platform to break down social barriers.

Ryan is also increasingly working (and speaking) internationally

Karsten Michael Drohsel (Berlin, Germany)

Karsten Michael DrohselWorking in Urban and Regional planning and game design, Karsten leads Impulsbüro in Berlin (Office for Urban Research, explorative spatial practice and urban education). His work focuses on the ‘gamicipation’ (participation with and by games and gaming methods) of cities, processes which transform work into play, using these engaging processes to encourage and facilitate better citizen participation.  Karsten is also a member of mikromakro e.v, an interdisciplinary team of urban and regional planners, architects, social scientists, economists and designers. The group work on new ways of participation in urban and local contexts, using games as a methodology to develop citizen empowerment.

Karsten will be delivering microgames sessions with We Make Places as part of the Liverpool MakeFest on Saturday 30th June.

Kazz Morahashi  (Norwich, UK)

kazz-morohashiKazz is an artist/designer with a focus in museum interpretation design for young people and families. Based at Norwich University of the Arts, Kazz’s ongoing research centres around cultural learning design. Kazz is drawn to ideas on how we each define our culture, identity and individuality. She enjoys working with a diverse range of audiences including children and hard-to-reach communities.

Her project, Go Walkeez, is a cultural exploration toolkit for families. It involves a mixture of analogue and digital experiences that use a toy sausage dog, sniff list and a digital camera. The project is intentionally fun, quirky, active and interactive. Go Walkeez has won national and international awards including the Royal Society of the Arts SDA-Howarth Award. It’s an ongoing project currently based in the UK and exploring international opportunities – having just returned from her residency in Japan.

Andrew Small (Liverpool, UK)

andy small artist the maverick cityAs an artist, Andrew is interested in the relationship of art and design to the public realm, its production, functions and potential effects in the built environment and our shared public landscape.

His work is socially engaged and encompasses diverse mediums chosen following the ideas that develop through the process of working with stakeholders. His work includes commissions for both public and private institutions and work with communities across the UK

Recent works include sculpture, interactive artworks, integrated installations, Interior design, lighting, furniture, film and digital technologies. See some examples here


Kate Stewart (Liverpool, UK)

Kate stewart liverpoolAll of Kate’s work is about collaboration and conversation – with other artists and with communities and individuals who have stories that haven’t been heard.  Having started her career in theatre at the age of 17 at the Liverpool Everyman, she has spent the last 22 years working in the design/built environment sector and combining this with artistic practice as a socially engaged artist and jewellery designer/maker.

Kate is CEO and co-founder of We Make Places and a social entrepreneur who had forged creative collaborations across the world, her curation of The Maverick City enables her to introduce the breadth of talent she collaborates with to audiences here in the north west of the UK.