City Pulse at One World Observatory

City Pulse is a storytelling tool: a gesture-controlled 14-foot ring of LCD screens used by New York City ambassadors at the top of the new 1 World Trade Center building to reveal our city to visitors without blocking their spectacular view of it. 

I worked as the sole visual experience designer on this project from concept to production, and was also intimately involved with content, storytelling, and UX/UI design. I feel privileged to have worked with a dedicated, talented and persevering team. Together, we stumbled through the unknowns of creating something that has never existed before.




created with

Jake Barton | Creative direction
Matt Felsen | Front-end development
Francie Grogan | Content development
Andrea Ngan | User experience design
Keeli Shaw | Project oversight
Marijana Wotton | Project management
Ethan Holda | Development oversight
Nima Vakilli | 3D design
Erika Tarte | Art direction

at Local Projects


Fast Company review

One of the greatest successes of this project: we devised a way to tell stories and display rich visuals on what is, essentially, a screen with a hole in it. In a way mirroring the live panorama before the visitor, the image on the ring of screens comes into greater clarity as you walk around it.

I worked with the content developer to source and curate content about our great city that could serve any audience or tour guide. When we weren’t able to find what we were looking for, I grabbed the studio DSLR and headed out on daytime and night-time shoots to some of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods.

Together as a team, we tirelessly troubleshooted nascent gesture technology and massaged it into a user interface that feels both magical and natural. We worked with actors to simulate the experience, but when they weren’t available I stepped in to play the role of tour guide.