The Heart of the City

The Heart of the City

The Heart of the city is an interactive public art sculpture that pulses light according to people’s heartbeats. The sculpture invites several people to sit and interact with the work. It was located on the corridor of Sydney Opera House during the VIVID Light Festival in 2015.

The interactivity of the work occurs when the viewer puts his finger on the pulse sensor located in the center of the sculpture, it begins to pulse light according to the heart rate of the user. When no one is touching the pulse sensor, the heart of the city is waiting for its next user. The work hosts 5 people sitting and one interacting at a time.

The sculpture is covered with a light skin made of flexible LED Neon flex, where half of the leds pulses according the left heart artery while the other half pulses according the right heart artery, which creates a unique rhythm to be experienced by the user and its spectators.

The piece aims to bring together the heartbeat of the citizens by creating a heart to the city where people are invited to hang out and experience an expansion of their own heart shared with others.

The shape of the sculpture comes from an original human heart model downloaded from the internet which was modified to get the desired shape for the interactive public furniture which was inspired by the human organ. The idea was to create an organic, cozy resemblance of a heart where several people could sit and feel comfortable in the sensitive light skin curvatures.
The interior structure was made by carving 3 blocks of Styrofoam using an electric chain saw and finishing with sand machines. When we got the desired organic shape we added several layers of fiberglass and resin in order to reinforce and protect the structure, which needed to carry hundreds of kilos from the led neon flex plus 6 people sitting on it. The sculpture is robust, waterproof and durable.
Inside the sculpture, we added the electronic system in a waterproof box with microcontrollers, power supplies and a fan to ventilate the system. The pulse sensor was located in the center of the external part of the sculpture and there are 2 cables to turn on and off the work that was located in the bottom of the shape, each one requires 10 amp of electric power. It was developed in the Design lab of UTS, University of technology Sydney from April 18th until May 22th, 2015.
Heart of the City is a project by Anaisa Franco Studio.
The team is composed by Aravinth Panchadcharam (programming), Tank Thunderbird (product design), Heloisa Franco and Annie McKinnon (assistants).
The work was commissioned by VIVID SYDNEY 2015 and hosted by UTS Creativity and Cognition Studios in Sydney, Australia.

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