Connected cities

Thames Pulse: This vast London tower shines out real time data

By Kitty Knowles 15 March 2017

Stunning AND statistical.

The River Thames is one of London’s most iconic features. Now, the expansive Sea Containers building on the South Bank is literally shining a light on its vital data.

Thames Pulse, a permanent art installation created by acclaimed artist Jason Bruges, will officially launch tomorrow courtesy of media agency MEC UK and the capital’s waterway charity Thames21.

It’s been designed to highlight the day-to-day water quality of the Thames in real time – and it’s beautifully captivating.

“The data we take from the Thames tells a vital story of the life in the river,” says Bruges.

Doing data well

Now, when you take a stroll along the South Bank, you’ll be able to see for yourself how clean the River Thames is using the stunning light display.

Spanning the width of the vast tower block, Thames Pulse is made up of hundreds of individual stems of light. These beam out one of three dynamic patterns – showing whether water quality is good, average or poor compared to the previous day’s reading.

Updates will also be posted by @ThamesPulse on Twitter, along with calls to action to join Thames21 volunteering projects – like its Thames River Watch group, or a Thames21 Clean Up.

It’s hoped that seeing the data in such an engaging way will help people understand the River Thames better, and encourage them to look after it.

“The Thames is the lifeblood of our city, but often we don’t celebrate it,” said Verra Budimlija, Chief Strategy Officer, MEC UK.

Londoners – get ready to celebrate, and protect, ‘the lifeblood of our city’.

Check out Thames Pulse data art in action below…