Urban Gate

breaking borders without language

HBK Essen, TU-Chemnitz, Pochen Festival

Project date

Summer 2022

Go on a journey to rethink the meaning of belonging. The playful light portal URBAN GATE invites people of different cultures to virtually and interactively explore their similarities through the sensuality of movement. Together, two individuals merge into a third virtual composition, using only their body language. Overcome the feeling of separation and feel connected without words to the personality on the other side. The portal shows that the glow in all of us is essentially the same – no matter whether East or West, Young or Old, or from which faraway cultures of this world we come.

Humanity is facing a number of significant challenges. Whether it’s social polarization, climate change, digitalization or war, we need empathy and boundless cohesion to find solutions regarding the acute problems of our time. That’s why we brought the URBAN GATE portals to life.  Providing impulses and a bridge of visual communication, it enables non-verbal communication across transnational borders and strengthens cultural solidarity.

How does it work?

From two partner cities, communication takes place through the real-time transmission of the body’s tracked data. Different sensors of the Kinect camera turn it into an abstract mirror image projected onto the portal. The real-time data influences fluorescent light particles. Mutual movement and the playful forces of attraction and repulsion of these light particles create a new visual composition.


Prof. Binh Minh Herbst, A.MUSE – Interactive Design Studio
Sven Winkler, Chemnitz University of Technology (TU-Chemnitz)

Participating students HBK Essen:
Nina Schott, Annika Liedmann, Arturo Dario Garcia Urbina, Daniel Moser, Selim Kesici

Technischer Support:
Nick Weigensager

If you like what you see, you’re just the kind of person we’d love to work with. 

Let's get in touch
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