Recycle City

Recycle City, originally conceived by Ruth Harrisson, is about designing and envisioning a sustainable future – it is a speculative city founded on the values of creativity, community, opportunity, human and animal welfare, healing, connection, conservation, love, joy and celebration.

Through workshops with local communities in Barton Hill, Bristol, the team are exploring how hands-on making combined with digital tools – including Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality (AR) – can be used to help us imagine Recycle City.

Established in 2021, the UKRI-funded programme’s main principle is based on exploring how and why we take part in arts and culture as we get older with a special spotlight on how we can interact digitally and utilise new technologies to influence our wellbeing and sense of social connection.

Using innovative community technology and low-key recycling materials, the diverse groups were encouraged to develop bold and exciting ideas around themes such as ‘Buildings’, ‘Transport’, ‘Green Spaces’ or ‘Public Furniture’ to reimagine their neighbourhoods in an inclusive and sustainable way. Our team was tasked to complement these multi-sensory workshops with Augmented Reality filters and Artificial Intelligence image creation sessions to spark the community’s collective imagination and blur the boundaries between virtual and analogue methods.

Some models built from recycled materials were swiftly 3D scanned by Curio’s photogrammetry wizard Chris Price during the workshops and made into an AR social media filter that participants could use immediately to place their creations in 3D space. All filters are published and available to try out on Recycle City’s Instagram to serve as a legacy for all the marvellous creations up to date.

Imagine a city founded on values of creativity, community, opportunity, human/animal welfare, healing, connection, conservation, love, & celebration.

Imagine a city founded on values of creativity, community, opportunity, human/animal welfare, healing, connection, conservation, love, & celebration.

Divided into small groups, we explored the easy-to-use online AI image generator Dall-E 2 to communally develop ‘prompts’, produce new imagery, or erase and replace areas on existing photographs of local places.

The team behind Recycle City hopes to build upon the foundations of this inclusive and creative method to provide city planners with valuable insights and data to support future placemaking processes with a wide range of stakeholders. With such a wealth of dynamic local communities, Bristol is the perfect playground for enabling people to take ownership of their environment and foster critical thinking.

A Recycle City manifesto is due to be released and we can’t wait to continue working with such forward-thinking local communities and partners.

All aboard for AR!

Take a peak at some of our other AR artworks like AR exhibition Displays Decoded, or our AR street murals for UPFEST. Feeling inspired and want to collaborate on your own AR artwork or another immersive project?

We love working with everyone from artists who want to add a digital layer to their practice to tourism, heritage and culture sites who want to increase their visitor footfall or create a new experience to entertain return visitors.

Get in touch via our contact form to find out how we can make some magic together.

Recycle city workshop