Project description

Official project website:

During my bachelor's degree, I worked at Obx Labs as the lead developper on the Cityspeak project. The lab is dedicated towards exploration in dynamic typography and the creation of typographic softwares.

Cityspeak is ephemeral graffiti, an exploration into using private modes of communication to drive transient public displays of commentary about a particular location. Participants use their SMS- and web-enabled cellphones or wireless PDAs to send text to a common server. The text is processed using the NextText text visualization software. NextText references real-time data from the location to specify the visual behaviors of the text. The resulting stream of text is layered back onto the location in the form of large-scale projections. Participants can use the display to leave commentary, tell stories, conduct conversations or simply to play with the visual characteristics of text.

Cityspeak is an example p2P (private-to-public) communication which allows participants to use communication technologies we tend to think of as private--cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants--to create public displays.

Public presentation

The Cityspeak project has been presented in many festivals, conferences and cultural events in Montreal (CA), Toronto (CA), Dallas (US), Sao Paulo (BR), Antwerp (BR) and Paris (FR). The project has been presented several times in symbiosis with the Tryphons.

For a complete and up to date list of Cityspeak presentations, please refer to the official website: Cityspeak presentations.


Original idea: Jason E. Lewis

Conceptual development: Maroussia Lévesque
Programming: Lucie Bélanger
Design: Lysanne Bellemare and Raed Moussa