NBBJ's 'Urban Harmony' Web-App Debuts at the 2020 Seattle Design Festival

This post was co-authored by Harsh Kedia and Pragya Gupta.


With COVID-19 keeping many of our urban centers closed, the ten-year-old Seattle Design Festival is going virtual with 'About Time' as its central theme. NBBJ will debut the Urban Harmony Digital Seattle app - a virtual collaborative audio-visual experience to build a sense of community and connect with the city while keeping the distance .


To start using the app, click here: urban-harmony.vercel.app/


When many of us are disconnected from family, friends and the city at large, often only leaving the house for essential purposes, emerging digital tools can play a helpful role in fostering connections. Urban Harmony encourages users to connect with the city and their neighbors through a unique audio-visual experience.


HOW IT WORKS


Urban Harmony Seattle is an app that allows users to create, listen and “view” the sounds of their neighborhood, to create an ever-changing audio and visual experience.


There are two ways to engage:


RECORD

When selecting “record,” users record a short audio snippet which will be time-stamped and geo-tagged to their location.


LISTEN


Playback will be offered in two formats:

  • As an audio diary of users’ personal recordings.

  • As a compilation of recordings from neighborhoods. These will be accompanied by graphic representations, providing a visual soundscape to the city.

Each sound appears on the map as an iconic radial soundwave, which encapsulates a piece of audio in a single image. The radial soundwave can become an interpretive image of harmony and togetherness, as each bar comes together to create a cohesive image. The user can explore an area by zooming into the region on the interactive map and playing the sounds from their chosen neighborhood.


Have you used the app yet? How do you connect with your family, friends and the city at large? We'd like to hear from you, drop us a line at socialmedia@nbbj.com.

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