There may not be a “regular” CounterPlay festival again before 2019, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’re not having fun experimenting with new formats and friends!

After our wonderful experience with CounterPlay Leeds, we’re incredibly excited to announce that we’re now working together with the Swiss youth organization “Pro Juventute” to organise a play festival in Switzerland on May 25th & 26th next year!

The festival will focus on “Playable Cities” and “Pop up Play Action”, so we’ll most certainly get out and play in public, but we’ll also insist on thinking and talking about the implications of this! We’ll make sure to carry with us the playful atmosphere from CounterPlay, of course, and it will be a phenomenal experience!

There is currently an open call for proposals running, so if you’re as interested in this as we are, do consider submitting something:

How can public urban areas be organised to improve play for children and adults? Can play be used in the public domain as a catalyst for urban development? How can play instigate participative processes of appropriation? How can playgrounds become spaces for the live culture of play and encounter? Can playgrounds also be challenging and playable for adults?

Play is rarely actively promoted in urban areas and is even more rarely integrated into the actual urban planning process. Yet play offers a wide range of resources, methods, processes of appropriation and atmospheric potential for change so as to radically improve cities. The Pro Juventute Play Festival 2018 should support the development of cities of play and further develop discussion of the role of play in urban development processes. The Play Festival 2018 is composed of a conference on the topic of «Playable Cities» and a Play Event for World Play Day 2018 whereby the right to play is celebrated at an international level.

Read the full call below:

Call for proposals

Anyone interested in giving a talk or workshop should send an abstract of max. 1 A4 to
Conference documentation is envisaged.

Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2018.


Petra Stocker,
Project Coordinator Playscapes and Play Culture
Pro Juventute,
Thurgauerstrasse 39, Postfach, 8050 Zürich
Mobile +41 78 501 24 23

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Mathias Poulsen

I think a playful mindset is essential for us to live better lives together. I organise the CounterPlay Festival to cultivate a #playfulsociety.

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