OB1 Live 22: Playable Buildings for the Audiograft Festival

The Playable Buildings project was located on the public plaza of the John Henry Brookes Building at Oxford Brookes University and was part of the Audiograft Festival 2016. The Playable Buildings are interactive buildings that are also musical instruments that are large enough for one person to perform in it. This project gives students the opportunity to test the potential of public art, architecture and design to activate public space, engaging people with their environment and community. We collaborated with sound artist Shirley Pegna to create a public performance event using the Playable Buildings. The project explored architecture’s synergy with music, the performative potential of architectural design and the role of both disciplines within the field of public art.

Installations focused on the active architectural elements and their interaction with the building’s occupants. They exploited the performative and acoustic qualities that are present in every building such as open windows, the drama and sound of movement between spaces that happens in places such as doorways, rituals or activities such as cooking and cleaning as well as background sounds that we may normally ignore.

The resulting Playable Buildings included a glass harmonica that with a scale derived from an investigation into different domestic activities and their different levels of water consumption; a space that required the audience to choose between listening or looking; and a space that rang bells as your body navigated through it.

February - March 2016


Abdiasis Abdi, Marie Abella, Sherraine Albert, Amy Allwood, Nirmal Amin, Douglas Angel, Sam Appleyard, Youssef Attia, Emma Baker, Tom Baldwin, George Barnes, Becky Barnett, Murad Baylarov. Mirkelam Belet, Armana Bibi, Bernard Biju, Saffa Semaon, Graeme Birmingham, Victoria Bocchiotti, Anass Bousmer, Amelia Bryant, Lauren Bryce, Laura Bucknall, James Budd, Andreea Bunica, Toby Burnes, Phoebe Cave, Katarina Cervenakova, Maria Chiocci, Quincy Chugh, Maria Ciarleglio, Max Collins, Delfina Couceiro, Caterina Cremonese, Oliver Cummings, Imogen Davies, Emily Davitt, Oliver East, Fergus England, Alice England, Julia Estrella Assis de Faria, Sofia Ferraz, James Ford, Alex Fox, Jerry Fryars, Chris Fulton, Live Furustol, Lea Garguet-Duport, Albina Gatajeva, Amee Gehrmann, Callum Goodridge, Lauren Gower, Maria Luice Grayston, Mitisha Gurung, Emma Hawes, Philippa Holmes, Hedvig Holtmann, Beth Houghton, Rolly Hsiao, Ben Hutchinson, Tom Hyde, Omar Ibrahim, Marsya Ismail, Matilda Jeans, Olivia Jones, Iris Kodal, Synnove Kyrkjeeide, Inga Lagunaite, Ida Larsson, Cindy Laryea, Sophie Latour, Sarah Lawrie, William Lawton, Isabelle Leeming, Nicholas Leigh, Marjut Lisco, Kieran Lishman, Catherine Llewellyn, Eleanor Laosby, Isaac Lockett, Daria Lugovkin, Hilary Lukose, Joshua Mannings, Hanna Middleton, Ika Mohammad Dahlan Donald, Ryan Moss, Lubomba Munkuli, Richard Muthama, Yuki Narita, Thomas Noble, Julie Nyland Nilsen, Abisoye Onanuga, Omolola Osunneye, Shivani Patel, Ruari Pawluk, Aleksander Pialuch, Lilyana Popova, Mollie Powell, Niclas Preiss, Emma Preston-Barnes, Haoyu Qi, Oana Radu, Niketa Ranjan, Mamuna Rashid, Dana Raslan, Fairuz Razak, Joshua Richards, Georgia Roberts, Ellen Sanson, Jim Santoni, Sam Scoble, Abdullah Sheikh, Rodney Sihlangu, Cameron Smith, Jennifer Smith, Joshua Snell, Vytautas Stakeliunas, Iris Sudjarwo, Yu Jin Sung, Victoria Taylor, Aliona Thomas, Luke Thomas, Laura Tilly, Sidorela Toci, Charlotte Topham, Sma Vercoe, Anna Vlassopulos, Jessica Walker, Ashling Wall, Havard Wallin, Molly Willerton, Harry Williamson, Charlie Wiltshire, Georgia Winch, Max Wolstencroft, Stefana Zapuc.


Professor Paul Whitty, Dr Shirley Pegna.


Audiograft Festival-goers, students and staff at Oxford Brookes University, passers-by.


Jane Anderson, Dr. Orestes Chouchoulas, Rob Houmøller, Pouya Zamanpour, Will Fisher, Ralph Saull.

Commissioned by



Oxford Brookes School of Architecture.