Interactive urban experiment, Hello Lamp Post, saw street furniture, objects and landmarks across Singapore come to life and chat to passersby. There were 15,000 conversations with almost 700 objects over the festival week.

This playful intervention gave passers by the opportunity to interact with the city in new ways, rediscover their local environment, share memories of their city, and uncover the stories that other people leave behind. Asked what everyday life could be like in a smart future, Singaporeans were also able to share candid comments about the future and smart technology. Often commenting on the rather cheeky nature of the talking street furniture, many gave their predictions for the next 50 years of Singapore, complete with artificial intelligence, self-building buildings, and flying shoes.

Pan Studios worked with FutureEverything to realise this new and extended edition of Hello Lamp Post for Singapore. The most talked to object was the Merlion, a huge half fish, half lion stone structure which spouts water from its mouth and is the international symbol for Singapore. It turns out Singapore is the most talkative nation too, with more than 15,000 conversations over the Singapore festival surpassing the response in other cities.

By analysing those conversations, Pan Studios working with Drew Hemment and National University of Singapore’s data analytics team, were able to generate insight into Singaporean’s ideas and aspirations around smart technology. To signpost principles for urban data governance, the study was opt in by informed consent, all messages were anonymised, and the data was deleted when the study was complete.