There’s so much more to cities than grey buildings. We’re taking you on a global tour to discover how artists have injected a sense of fun into their cities through interactive art installations, flash mobs and even pillow fights. Join us as we explore the projects that have transformed concrete jungles into urban playgrounds.
The Big Apple’s big dance party
First stop: New York City, where a 100-person dance party from Improv Everywhere created a truly surprising moment for the people of Manhattan. The project was made in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York. To take part, passers by simply had to be brave enough to stand on the circle. Would you have stepped up to the challenge?
Stockholm finds the key to fun
Next, we’re heading to Stockholm, where a little creative thinking changed the behaviour of subway station users. This experiment was part of ‘Fun Theory’, an initiative from Volkswagen, which explored whether creativity could inspire people into positive action. In this particular art installation, VW encouraged commuters to take the stairs by transforming the steps into piano keys. Now that’s what we call being in tune with your surroundings.
Walala turns grey into great
French graphic artist Camille Walala is on a mission to transform cities with colour – a project she calls Walalaland. While this artist is based in London, her inspiring city art has reached the USA. The video below follows Walala as she brings her happiness-inducing style to a building in Brooklyn, New York.
This flash mob is the one that you want
When Antwerp’s Music Hall needed to promote its new stage show, the cast decided to create a scene in the city’s Central Station. The ensemble had everyone doing the hand jive. It was an automatic, systematic and hydromatic way to spread the word – which was Grease, of course.
David Zinn makes art while the sun shines
Street artist David Zinn creates 3D chalk drawings that make a big impression – but not for very long. His colourful creations are washed away as soon as it rains. Zinn mostly works in Michigan, but his art has been spotted in Taiwan and Sweden. Of course, you’ll need to be quick if you want a selfie with them.
Getting bold with bedding in London
Yes, there really is such a thing as International Pillow Fight Day – it’s apparently held on the first Saturday in April. In 2013, London celebrated this unusual occasion by hosting an enormous pillow fight flash mob, which sent feathers flying in Trafalgar Square. We love it when a silly plan comes together.
Share your fun finds
From Berlin’s Buddy Bears to London’s Fourth Plinth, we want to hear about the artistic projects that have injected fun into your city – so please share them with us in the comments. Plus, if you love artistic transformations, why stop at buildings? You can bring creativity to every pavement with our legendary graffitoe artists: Basquiatoe and Graffitoes.