ProjectSonic City

Key Areas
Sonic City

Sonic City explored mobile interaction and wearable technology for generating music in everyday life. The Sonic City prototype created electronic music based on sensing bodily and local factors. Input from sensors measuring context and actions is mapped to the audio processing of live local sound in real time. An extensible plug-and-play version of the prototype was developed for testing in the city, and further iterations were refined and tested. Sonic City generates a personal soundscape produced by a combination of physical movement, local activity, and urban ambiance. Encounters, events, architectures, (mis)behaviors – all become means of interacting with, or ‘playing’ the city. Our intention was to break out of traditional forms of music creation and listening, enhancing personal expression and encouraging new uses of the urban landscape.


The Sonic City project was a collaboration in 2002-2005 between the Interactive Institute (Ramia Mazé and Margot Jacobs) and the Viktoria Institute (Lalya Gaye), together with Daniel Skoglund (8Tunnel2). Lalya and Ramia initiated and managed the project. Magnus Johansson and Sara Lerén (IT University Göteborg) conducted master's theses in the project. Sonic City was sponsored in part through the Smart-Its project and the Mobile Life SSF project. At the Interactive Institute, it is part of the Public Play Spaces research platform.

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