FROM mysterious creatures appearing on the city streets to 'forbidden buttons' connecting curious people, a variety of unusual and creative projects from across the world have been shortlisted to celebrate the theme of the 'Shared City'.

The first Smart Oxford Playable City Commission has selected six innovative art projects to demonstrate shared experiences and the future of Oxford.

The commission is a new competition, challenging creative groups from around the world to produce an idea for an art project that puts people and play at the heart of Oxford.

It is hoped the winning project will capture the imagination of those who live, visit and work in and around the city and will be selected by a panel of judges.

Hilary O’ Shaughnessy, lead producer of Playable City, said: “The breadth of ideas and vision in the shortlist shows the strength and reach of the Playable City theme across all creative sectors.

"We are excited to choose and produce a project of global ambition that begins in the unique city of Oxford.”

Shortlisted projects include characters that look like robots and cartoon characters walking around Oxford and a series of buttons around the city which people can press to connect with others.

Sebastian Johnson, vice chairman of Smart Oxford and principal economic development officer at Oxford City Council, said: “A Playable City approach will start new conversations, imagine new futures and make new connections.

"It is a way of thinking differently about Oxford; as a shared city that links our diverse communities.”

There were 80 entries from 28 countries around the world to make the shortlist.

The winner will receive a £30,000 prize as well as dedicated support and guidance to help realise the winning project's full potential.

The winner will be named at a ceremony to be held in Oxford in November.

One of the judges, former Henley MP Lord Heseltine, said: “I am delighted to be chairing the judging panel of the Smart Oxford Playable City Commission.

"I’m looking forward to working with my fellow judges to review the innovative and creative ideas the competition has generated and am excited to see the winning entry delivered in the iconic city of Oxford.”

The projects which have been shortlisted include 'Show us your city' by Thomas Buchanan and Gavin Strange, 'Star Light, Star Bright' by the Guerilla Dance Project, 'Do Not Press' by Playful Anywhere, 'Knock Knock; by Bottle, 'Love Thy Neighbourhood' by Bimble, all from the UK.

Elsewhere, 'LitKNIT Gateways' from Vienna and US-based Graf and Tobier, are also on the shortlist.

Lord Heseltine will be joined by judges Clare Reddington, Usman Haque, Sharna Jackson, Cigdem Sengul, Llewelyn Morgan, Sebastian Johnson, Asima Qayyum and Francesa Perry.