Hungry Castle: “Cool shit” stuff needs to be Playful, Public and Pop


Would you like to visit Lionel Richie’s head or even spend a night inside of it? Or a laser cat seems more appealing? Those are only 2 of the most known projects realized by the creative collective Hungry Castle. Hungry Castle brings together Killian Cooper and Dave Glass and makes Irish and Australian ideas flourish on Spanish ground, as the studio is located in Barcelona


Answering a few questions from AdHugger, Killian and Dave gave us more details, among others, on what’s “cool shit” – the way they describe their projects -, about how they started working together and the ingredients a project needs to have to impact over the public.

AdH.: What motivates you to make “cool shit?”

Killian Cooper:   Life is what you make in it. Often we’re motivated to make something, purely so that it exists in the world because once you leave this life, that’s what you’re remembered for. Being remembered for Cool Shit, like our giant Lionel Richie Head that 60,000 people got into or a enormous Laser Cat that projects art onto the moon, appeals to us more as a lasting legacy.

AdH: How did you meet and how and why did you decide to start working together?

K.C.:   We met at a creative seminar in Barcelona 3 years ago and, although we’re both from opposite ends of the planet, we rock the same brand of zaniness. Dave was already living in Spain and had the idea to open up a creative studio. I loved the idea of making Cool Shit happen so I left Ireland to join him and that was the beginning of Hungry Castle.

AdH: What’s the secret on generating cultural impact with public art?

Dave Glass: Keeping it simple. We like to sample globally recognized images or icons as a means to communicate our mad ideas. Our goal is to make public art for planet Earth, so ideas need to instantly resonate with people. We both have experience working in advertising and we use design thinking in a way that engages people and allows them to respond to the art.

Fashion is another utilitarian way of generating impact – the idea that people wear one of our artworks on their head and help share the story behind that artwork. Our art inspires the fashion but it’s the fashion that funds our art and keeps it free for the public.

AdH: What’s the best way to engage people? How do you achieve that?

D.G.:  Make it bigger, make it fun and make it about them. Give people the chance to engage with the artwork. In the case of Laser Cat, more than 1,500 people fed him personal art so that he could project it onto Miami Beach at the ADC Festival.

The lucky people attending the festival have the chance to control and fire Laser Cat by pushing his laser button. This is how Laser Cat breaks down the wall between content producer and viewer by making the viewer the content producer. We believe this ultimately leads to a more engaging and shareable experience.


AdH: What are the ingredients you cannot leave out of your projects?


1: Cool Shit should be Playful.

2: Cool Shit should be Public.

3: Cool Shit should be Pop.

Our work can also be Polarising and Prodigious. Polarising in that it tends to divide and challenge people’s opinion which we think all art should do. Prodigious in that the sculptures are massive!

AdH: How do you choose your clients? What do they ask from you more than anything?

D.G.: They have to pass the “Barbecue Test”. At the end of the day, we want to work with clients we like on a personal and a professional level. Clients that are cool, passionate and get what Hungry Castle is about and our sense of humor. So far we’ve been lucky to play with great clients like Adidas, Bestival, HP, ADC, among others. They all totally subscribe to the idea of doing Cool Shit and they all ask us for that “Big Crazy Idea”. The best thing is, they’re all always up for having a beer and barbecue after we’ve made that shit happen…especially ADC’s Ignacio Oreamuno!

AdH: Where do you get the inspiration for your projects?

D.G.: The Internet is our muse. We value pop culture and refer to it in all our artworks with a sharp sense of irreverence and freedom. Inspiration appears in old and retro things/characters/songs etc. from our past. We spend time figuring out what fascinates us, then we embrace it and celebrate it unabashedly with the entire world.

AdH: What’s the greatest thing about advertising industry? What would you change?

K.C.:  The greatest thing about the advertising industry is that you can place tons of odd decor, posters, toys and miscellaneous shit around the workplace and it’s totally acceptable.

I would probably change ad-speak like ‘synergy’,’optimization’ and ‘engagement’. Forget about spouting buzzwords and let’s focus on the craft, doing work that mirrors art and making Cool Shit.

AdH: Can creative projects make the world a better place?

K.C.:  Doing interactive interventions in public spaces helps create the possibility that somebody who wasn’t expecting to become engaged that day may become inspired to create something for themselves and that definitely helps the world to become a better, happier place.

About Hungry Castle

Based in Barcelona, Hungry Castle is the creative studio featuring Dave Glass and Kill Cooper that specialize in creating public art and fashion which they call Cool Shit. Their art inspires the fashion but it’s the fashion that funds their art. Therefore to purchase a Cool Shit Cap is to patron a Cool Shit Project.

Working collectively since 2011 the goal has always been to make big, playful things of cultural impact and use design thinking in a way that truly engages people. Influenced by Shepard Fairey’s prolific use of public space with the “Obey Giant” campaign, the artists combine unique 3-dimensional pieces with large-scale production a la Jeff Koons but with an added interactive ingredient to create a fully immersive experience between audience and art.

Hungry Castle sell concepts and Cool Shit to a cross section of clients and sponsors including Adidas, HP and several International Music Festivals. Hungry Castle’s work has been exhibited in New York, the UK, Spain and Miami Beach. Hungry Castle actively work to make Cool Shit that’s always playful, public, polarizing and pop.