Normal Projects

City Sensing: Signal Spaces

New York City & anywhere

2011 - present
26crop

When residents of a luxury building on New York’s Upper East Side occupied their rooftop in protest of the installation of a cellular base station, it highlighted the concern that many have about the impact of these ubiquitous electromagnetic signals on our health and safety. The network is hidden in plain sight, with deals often struck between cell phone companies and building owners` without occupants’ knowledge. Signal Space maps Manhattan’s mobile antenna infrastructure, with data assembled by citizens and by mobile devices that capture antenna locations and signal strength being used. Creators Michael Chen and Justin Snider are using the information to explore alternative zoning scenarios wherein the signals and density of radiation exposure are evened out between buildings, thus mitigating potential health risks.

Community, Information, Pleasure
500 – software license + rental cars to do the sweeps
6 months
2 + countless citizens
Problem - secretive mobile phone infrastructure
Solution - citizen mapping of antenna topography