CitySkin is a reactive suit which gathers environmental and sensory information about the city and the wearer(s) as they explore the urban landscape. Designed by Freyja Sewell and Stephanie Singer, it is intended to make the invisible aspects of the environment visible to us and for this process to encourage a new way of thinking about our environments.

Our body’s are in constant communication with the environment – with the air we breathe in and out, the water we drink and excrete, the pace the city exists at and our own internal pace, the sounds we hear and the sounds we make. This interaction between body and environment can be nourishing, replenishing, suffocating, destructive, inspiring and all things in between.

Why do cities feel different? What are the invisible and unseen parts of the city and how do they affect us?

CitySkin is a reactive suit which gathers environmental and sensory information about the city and the wearer as they explore the urban landscape. We captured the air of Montreal in a 12 hour walk through the city during the height of winter.

Audiences at Concordia immersed themselves within the sounds and sensations of Montreal as we found them; and experienced the diversity of information and influence that our bodies are under inside different cities. We want audiences to understand that they are not separate from their city environment and CitySkin acts as a call to action to encourage us all to take better care of the world around us.

There are three ‘sensors’ gathering data from the city walks
– CitySkin: Collecting data on: Sweat, Pavement texture, Weather, PH levels, light levels of thecity, bio-organisms, Air of the city and Breath of wearer
– The wearer of CitySkin: Heartrate, Walking Tempo, Emotional reaction
– The Assistant: Assisting the wearer & recording foley and found sounds

Creative Director
Stephanie Singer

Designer and Design co-ordinator
Freyja Sewell

Design team
Dr. Helene Steiner
Alice Potts

Institute for Urban Futures

Artistic partner(s)
Prof. Barbara Layne
Dr. Shauna Janssen
Professor David Howes
Concordia University