George Zisiadis

And helps local officials understand public space.

What if we could ditch the chaotic rhythm of the city, if only for a minute, and reconnect with the rhythm of our heartbeat? A new series of art installations in Boston is trying to do just that, inviting pedestrians to grab on and groove to the music of their bodies.

How does it work? George Zisiadis, the artist behind the project, writes in an email:

We designed music that would complement different heart rate levels. The unit detects your pulse and then an algorithm determines the best sounds to play for you. That music then plays in synchronization to the beat of your pulse and adapts in real-time. The result is music from your heart!

Watch the "Pulse of the City" in action in this video.

Zisiadis first exhibited a "cardboard and auto body putty" version of "Pulse of the City" at San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping Festival in October 2012, to positive reception. Boston took note and commissioned Zisiadis to make the concept a reality.

Early September, these solar-powered hearts were installed in Downtown, Longwood, East Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester, five neighborhoods with heavy pedestrian traffic. In its first weekend, the units recorded over 1,000 interactions. This history of interaction is uploaded wirelessly, allowing local officials to learn more about how to best use these public spaces in the future.

All images courtesy of George Zisiadis. 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Tech workers sit around a table on their laptops in San Francisco, California
    Life

    America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

    Despite established urban tech hubs, some smaller cities are attracting high-tech jobs with lower living costs, unique talent pools, and geographic diversity.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  4. Equity

    How Structural Racism is Linked to Higher Rates of Police Violence

    It's not just implicit racial bias. According to a new study, state policies are also a determinant factor in police shootings that disproportionately target African Americans.

  5. Transportation

    Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

    New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.