Walking in a place: Walkestra

Hyemi Song


As a form of locomotion, the activity of walking generates a personalized rhythm, revealing both regular and irregular gaits. For example, as a walker moves through a place, his or her physical, mental, and physiological states are continuously fluctuating in response to environmental information. In this thesis project, I accumulates data that reflects a walker’s unique experiences in a chosen place and transforms it as sonified data that allows other listeners to understand the walker’s experience in the place.

Through this transfer of data, walking leads to communication among people in both the real and digital worlds. When people move somewhere, they typically make eye contact, smile, or even have a conversation with passersby in the real world. Similarly, people online respond to walking-generated content (e.g. GPS running trails, selfies, videos) by leaving comments, ‘Likes’, and sharing photos.

Based on this perspective, this research aims to design methodologies to generate a ‘decodeable personalized soundtrack’ through sonifying an individual’s ‘walking data’ collected in a place. It also includes the development of a concept for utilizing the individuals’ sonifed data as a medium for communication among people.