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Urban Whispers


Urban space whispers. Memories and adventures of everyday life wait to be discovered and collected in someone's common- place- book. The UrbanWhispers project treasures these memorabilia and shares them with the open ears of the audience strolling through the city. UrbanWhispers approaches the subject of perception of urban space through story- telling by composing audible pictures and scenes on the fly from pieces out of an active archive of the mental state of the city. The listener is guided in an ambiguous way and unique stories develop throughout the explorative walk - very unlikely to be told a second time.
In this work We present the narrative concept and the design of a prototype system running on a WIFI and GPS enabled Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The PDA carries a local copy of the common- place- book that is compiled and edited with a specially designed graphical editor.

Team biography

The UrbanWhispers project team consists of four people with distinct backgrounds sharing the love for uncovering the memories and little secrets of urban space. Kristina Eschler is a conceptual based designer of new media, motion graphics and visual communication. Urs Hugentobler is currently working as a database application developer, with a main interest in integrated information systems. Stefan Kern is a Ph.D. student at the Computational Science and Engineering Lab at the ETH Zurich. Anja Meyer runs an office as an architect interested in practice as much as in theory.

June 2006


Zürich is like most cities
It has a somehow small waterfront
Narrow and picturesque lanes in the old part of the town, which date back to the middle-age
Remarkable churches and universities
A public transportation system, over- and underground
New development areas on the outskirts
Once industrial areas, that have now become popular living-districts
Transit problems, too little parking space
Good restaurants with swiss and international food

Zürich is a city like any city

So, why not sit down in Zürich and learn something about cities, about the forces that shape cites and about the way we look at cities, which is by no means as obvious as it may seem.

From Zürich to Zürich

May 2003
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