How Cities Work

National Exhibition Register

  • How Cities Work Exhibition Title Wall
    James Gulliver Hancock How Cities Work Exhibition Title Wall , 2018
    Image Credit
    James Gulliver Hancock

About the exhibition

Enter an immersive cityscape full of magical, tactile experiences to discover how the city works. Peek inside buildings, duck underground, and explore the streets to find out what’s going on above your head and beneath your feet.

This spectacular exhibition has been developed in collaboration with illustrator and city fanatic James Gulliver Hancock, and is adapted from the bestselling book How Cities Work from Lonely Planet Kids.

See and hear the city come to life with interactive animations, bustling sounds and something new to uncover on every street corner.

Pop on a hard hat and step onto a lively construction site, design your ultimate building of the future or make the city move from day to night at your fingertips.What will you create? It’s the city as you’ve never experienced it before!

Recommended for children aged 2 to 8 years.

Artists and Curator

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2025
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Sydney Living Museums
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Media Kit, Public Program Opportunities, Signage
Other materials
• Eight interactive themes comprising a mix of digital and low-tech activities, including: - A ‘construction site’ exploring the theme of urban growth through the opportunity for visitors to build their own tower, vehicle or imaginative creation using foam-based materials - A design station exploring building design and sustainability, with the opportunity to colour and cut out a skyscraper, and add it to a cityscape of creations - An enclosed under-5s space exploring leisure and culture activities in the city via magnets, puzzles, a floor-play building block activity, and books to read • An interactive touch wall utilising pioneering conductive paint reactive hotspots, triggering 11 ‘mini stories’ when touched. • Two projected animation sequences depicting a bustling city construction site and an underground sewer, creating surprise and humour. • Multisensory and tactile elements throughout the space: - A series of soundscapes provide a sense of urban life, from voices, to car horns and the gurgling of drains - Responsive push buttons, levers and wheels stimulate lights and movement • An immersive tunnel exploring the subterranean world underneath the city’s streets, including the sewer system and underground rail transport services 
Primary contact
Tara Kita
Senior Producer Travelling Exhibitions
Sydney Living Museums
02 8239 2265
How Cities Work is a travelling exhibition by Sydney Living Museums. Adapted from Lonely Planet Kids' titles, ‘How Cities Work’ © 2016 & ‘How Airports Work’ © 2018 by James Gulliver Hancock, Lonely Planet