Urban Heartbeat

Urban Heartbeat

Winner of the Gray Area Grand Prize

Urban Heartbeat won the Gray Area Grand Prize, one of three Grand Prizes. The Gray Area Grand Prize awards a Creative Code Fellowship at Gray Area, $3,000 cash & $3,000 of Creative Code Classes. Goal of the 10-Week fellowship will be to further develop the project over the Summer and showcase at The Grand Theater.


Project Description

Urban Heartbeat is an civic art project that explores the temporal identity and pulse of places in cities around the world. The team conducted several experiments based upon different environmental factors, such as pollution, noise, dust, light, and social media. Each experiment explores a different factor using a different medium or visualization technique. The primary goal of Urban Heartbeat is to empower the ability for any citizen to curate their own civic data search, and in turn, return customized search results in the form of information-rich, yet visually simplified format(s), or “pulses”.

Our team began by building a series of audiovisual experiments for representing select environmental factors, such as pollution, noise, dust, and light. View Experiments > Over the course of three weeks, we explored, reviewed, and refined our experiments.

The result is a web app/search engine that allows users to curate their own searches and compare pulses across 100 places in 7 international cities. Users will be invited to include select environmental factors as they find relevant to their search. Each environmental factor selected will contribute a “layer” onto a resulting urban pulse. As such, pulses will say as much about places as it will about people.


Created by Aurelia Friedland, Srivinas Ashok & Steve Pepple (San Francisco, USA)

Explore Urban Heartbeat



Posted on

March 25, 2015