The project called Smart Citizen Sentiment Dashboard (SCSD) is an interactive and participatory installation that lets citizens engage with and comment on urgent challenges in São Paulo. SCSD aims to translate instant citizen feedback into a visual language, which is displayed on the media facade of the Galeria de Arte Digital (FIESP). The media facade and its surrounding turn into a stage for social encounter where the urban challenges can be discussed. Nina Valkanova and I have been invited by Verve Cultural and Galeria de Arte Digital do SESI-SP to produce an interactive media installation for the Viva Cidade Festival in September 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Galeria de Arte Digital do SESI-SP consists of a large public display which is build into the honey comb facade of the FIESP/SESI Building at Avenida Paulista 1313 in São Paulo. Avenida Paulista is the main Avenue of Sao Paulo and the most important financial center in South America. Millions of people from all parts of the city pass the facade daily on its broad sidewalks. It is supposed to bring together people from various cultural, social and economic backgrounds.
THE MEDIA FACADE
The screen is divided into three parts which are situated on three different sides of the facade. The biggest and main display faces to the opposite side of the street, whereas the two smaller screens are directed to display to both directions of Avenida Paulista. The three-folded low resolution LED facade is weaved into the existing honey comb facade and is formed by a network of approximately 26.000 LED Clusters (pixels) embedded in 3.700 m² metal structure that covers the pyramidical FIESP building. Each Pixel is formed by a module of four LEDs: 2 x R, 1 x G, 1 x B the luminous intensity is 4.5 cd / module. To interface with the facade a VGA connection to the main computer and a low resolution graphical mask is needed.
In a number of workshops the artists invited citizens of São Paulo with different social and cultural backgrounds to collectively identify urgent urban challenges (Figure). The aim of the ethnographically inspired design workshops was to translate the perceived mood of the quality of urban living into a culturally understandable visual language, and to integrate it into tangible devices that enable the spontaneous collection of citizen feedback in urban space.
The technology facilitates on the ubiquitous Bilhete Unico travel card, which is based on RFID technology. The project’s goal is to make use of this smart technology beyond travel purposes and allow citizens to express their mood and opinion instantly in the technology mediated urban realm. Although with seven million users on a regular basis, initial research showed that mostly commuter with lower and middle income use public transport in São Paulo and therefore carrying a unique trackable ID tag in their pockets.
Urban Device and Visualization
The aim of the project is to create an open, aesthetic dialogue about the quality of urban living, by playfully allowing people to convey their opinion about urgent challenges. Accordingly, the designers integrated RFID technology into a custom-made Smart Citizen Sentiment Dashboard – a portable urban device, which enables people to choose an urban category (mobility, environment, security, public space, housing) and submit their uniquely identifiable opinion about it by an intuitive swipe with their transport cards. This data is collected into a citizen sentiment database, which the facade visualization uses for real-time visualizations.
The installation is running daily from September 12 until September 30 in the evening from 8pm on. Due to the geographical location of Sao Paulo the sunset is at this time of the year around 6pm many people on their way back home from work either engage with their Bilhete Unicos (RFID transport cards) or simply enjoy the facade installation and take pictures of each others in front of the facade.