Atmospheric Urbanism: Street Life + WiFiWeb

Atmospheric Urbanism: Graduate Design Research Studio (Spring 2010)

Situated Technologies Research Group, University at Buffalo

Street Life: Gayathri Kesavan

Street Life proposes “smart” streetlights made from color shifting LEDs that dynamically change colors based on the presence of crowds and ambient noise levels.

Proposal – The new streetlights designed for New York City uses Color changing LEDs that dynamically change colors based on crowd and noise levels and also passively change every week. The proposed streetlight design include people counter and microphone that keeps track of people and sound levels in the area.

• As crowd increases, the third color gets added on by a percentage proportional to the crowd under it and it thus turns white. Thus, Color becomes a personal experience which becomes the focus when alone. In crowd, the color turns white thus shifting the focus on the crowd.

• As noise increases brightness decreases. Streetlights are meant to make one feel safe on streets. When noise levels are high the need for bright lights reduce.


Spatial colorism:  a totally new plastic art with its own independent laws, and with a potential far outstripping that of both architecture and painting. Spatial colorism elevates the schematic form to physical form and it is for this reason an indispensible expressive factor in the human creation of space in the broadest sense of total human settlement.


WiFiWeb: Trinadh Pydipally



WiFi Web is an adaptive tent structure that responds to fluctuating WiFi signal strength levels in Bryant Park, NY. Consisting of an open mesh netting and actuated tent poles, the system makes visible an invisible phenomenon while at the same time shaping the social space of the park by altering how it can be occupied.

“… the wi-fi can only be perceived through the presence of users themselves, or of course via devices that detect wi-fi.”- Dan Hill,

•   Field conditions on the site would clearly show the WiFi strength of the location. The field could be open to sky at the same time be kind of ceiling which pulses or moves according to the WiFi strength

•   A series of telescopic poles are connected with a net which forms the space visualizer. Telescopic poles could hold nets at certain locations and create a dynamic spacial quality while it telescopes vertically (Grashopper and Rhino used).

•   The WiFi Web while moving creates :

  • Low WiFi signal => space with ceiling height of 7’ => Low occupancy spaces
  • High WiFi signal => space with ceiling height of 13’ => potential WiFi Hotspots

Interestingly the opposite can also be used to help people locate themselves.

  • Low WiFi signal => 13’ space => Potential space for non WiFi using people to feel comfortable
  • High WiFi signal => 7’ space => Potential WiFi Hotspots (siting people require less head space)

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