Join Flow Architecture’s HeartBit Walks for a unique opportunity to take part in creating a sensory map of the areas around Here East

The section of the River Lee that borders the east side of Hackney Wick, branching to the west into the Hertford Union Canal, houses a culturally diverse community of active users, ranging from cycling and pedestrian commuters, to residential boats owners, runners, passers-by and to less fortunate rough sleepers.

The HeartBit Walks project, initiated by Flow Architecture in conjunction UCL Bartlett BPro Master in Urban Design, intends to collect detailed emotional insights on the current use of the canal walk, ultimately aiming to raise the awareness of risk perception in the area.

By mapping the affective reaction of selected participants to the canal walks and with the publication of the resulting emotional maps in an online archive, the project intends to offer a platform for the exploration of the diverse identities in the area and an opportunity for the local community to build an empowering diary of its collective voice.


Building an empowering diary of the community’s collective voice.



The project is articulated in two parts. A workshop open to UCL Bartlett BPro Urban Design students took place at the Bartlett School of Architecturein May. The two-day workshop focused on the construction of wearable sensing devices that, drawing on methods pioneered by artist Christian Nold in 2007, will be used to collect combined biometric (galvanic-skin response) and GPS information.

The project continues as a two-day event, part of the London Festival of Architecture 2018 which is where you can join it. The event will take place at UCL Here East and along the nearby canal walks, where selected participants will be invited to test the sensing devices during explorative local walks. The collected data will be published in an online archive to constitute a searchable sensory map of the area.

When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June, 11.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Where: UCL at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London, 51° 32′ 50. 8″N  0°01′ 22. 9″W

Flow Architecture is very pleased to invite the residents of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham to join the HeartBit Walks. The event, part of the London Festival of Architecture 2018, has been developed in partnership with the UCL Bartlett BPro Master in Urban Design to explore the use the HeartBit emotional sensing kit to map the participants’ affective reactions to the adjacencies of Here East.

While walking along the local branches of the River Lee and the Hertford Union Canal, the team will collect biometric information and map the emotional response of the participants to the environment. The detailed emotional insights will be visualised for discussions with the participants and the extended event’s public and progressively uploaded in an online archive that will remain live and searchable after the conclusion of the Festival.

The event is free for all and no advance registration is necessary. Tickets will be allocated on the day on a first time first basis.