> UK


Team Members:

James Killeavy


One common condition of a post-industrial, capitalist society is the stratification and isolation of its populace, this is no more apparent than in mega-cities such as New York. New communication technologies provide the capability to diminish this condition, yet, so far, these technologies have remained in the virtual realm. The intersections of information, life, machines and matter display complexities that suggest the possibility of a much deeper synthesis.


Synthesia is a project that aims to eliminate social divisions and develop a new state of human connectivity through blurring the boundaries between local and regional scales, virtual and physical realms and internal and external conditions. Developing a collective nervous system for the city.

This nervous system is manifested in the physical realm through two parts. The peripheral nervous system in the form of interactive glass elements placed on each block in Manhattan and the central nervous system, an interactive pavilion set in Central Park. This pavilion uses moving electrochromatic glass panels that embody the various inputs through color, height, and intensity of natural light. These elements allow the city’s populace to actively and passively communicate with each other on a regional scale.


For example, standing under a block New York block that feels stressed would intentionally make the inhabitant feel stressed, through creating affects that influence the inhabitant’s mood such as low ceiling height, less natural light, and intense red coloring. The pavilion, therefore, plays on the idea of emotional contagion on a city scale, creating a sense of empathy and togetherness and reducing isolation and loneliness.

The pavilion is both reactive and interactive, encouraging users to communicate, play, react in virtual and physical space. Thus, Synthesia has the potential to become much more than an environmental or emotional prosthesis, it unites all aspects of humanity into one collective, unified system.

eliminate loneliness through design