Co.Design

A 9/11 Memorial App Poetically Re-Creates The Twin Towers' Silhouettes

A lifelong New Yorker develops an iPhone app to simulate the experience of seeing the glorious towers first-hand.

As the anniversary of 9/11 nears, the world will be reminded of the tragedy that occurred on that crisp, clear September day. But over the last 10 years, New Yorkers have confronted the loss every day as they look at the skyline and register the conspicuous absence of the towers, which rose above the surrounding buildings like oversize Lego blocks. A new Kickstarter project will re-create that image with a free app for iPhone users.

The project, called 110 Stories, is the work of Brian August, a lifelong New York resident, who has been mulling over the concept for a decade. “It occurred to me that there are going to be a whole generation of people growing up and people who never visited New York who will have no conception whatsoever of how big the towers were, how beautiful they were, and how iconic they were, and how many different vantage points there were where you could see them,” August says. The technology to give everyone the opportunity to simulate the towers on their phones didn’t exist 10 years ago, nor did crowd-funding, which August has used to raise more than his initial goal of $25,000. With two more days of fundraising left, he has raised his target to $35,000 in order to adapt the app for Android users.

The app works in three steps: It guides the user to point the phone to where the towers once stood. Once properly oriented, it generates an image of the towers -- a pencil-like outline during the day, shimmering light at night. The user can then tweak the picture and submit a personal story to www.110stories.com, which will display each photo submission as a pin on a New York City map. Users can scroll over a pin to read the corresponding story.

August hopes to release the app by early September. If you’d like to fund the project, you may do so here before Saturday.

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