Collaborative Music Creation,
Driven by Gestures and Physical Interaction

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”The powerful psychological pull of music in modern life may derive from its innate ability to connect us to others.” Chris Loersch (University of Colorado)

Urban Thump

A 2016 San Francisco Market Street Prototyping Festival Design Project.
Festival Dates: October 6 - 8, 2016.

Who doesn’t love to tap, rap, plunk, and thump on things? Creating rhythmic music with our hands, feet and found objects has special meaning for humans.

The Urban Thump project is a unique interactive installation that will attract people from all cultures, demographics and socioeconomic characteristics to intuitively create rhythmic music together. Each participant, or group of participants, will shape their own compositional output, based upon individualized gestures and physical interaction with the installation and fellow players.

C'mon, you know you want to…join the “Tribe of Thump” as they perform nightly at the Market Street Prototyping Festival! Dance to the rhythms and get in on the fun. Then create your own tribe or simply enlist the denizens of Market Street to rediscover your ancient musical roots!

Urban Thump Unique Sounds

Thump It


Tap It


Scrape and Knock It


Tapping with a Coin



  • Goal:

    By strengthen the connection between people and the community they share, neighborhoods may begin to positively influence their physical, social and emotional well being. The Urban Thump project is conceived to encourage such group dynamics.

  • Market Street Prototyping Festival 2016:

    Following on our successful "Sound of Emotion" implementation for the 2015 MSPF project, the Urban Thump installation will continue to promote music as a universal language that brings people together.

  • Technology Overview:

    Urban Thump will be sculptural in appearance, constructed of modern and recycled materials. Individual sounds will be “programmed” to specific locations on the installation, discovered by the participant’s taps, hits, scrapes and thuds (gestures). The velocity of each participant’s act, plus the gesture itself, informs the technology to trigger or play a specific sound. Multiple sounds may be triggered at once, thus encouraging groups of participants to interact in sync.

  • Design:

    The wooden skeletal structure will be skinned with sheet brass. Each wall will have milled design elements - some that contain functional triggers for unique sound. Each wall will be approximately four feet in height by eight feet wide, by three inches thick.. The overall height of the structure will be 6'-6" including the base.

  • Location:

    Urban Thump will be located at the corner of Market and Steuart street.

Contact Us

For additional information on Urban Thump, please contact: