Citizens: The Living Portrait of NYC is an immersive experience created by New Yorkers for New Yorkers.
Produced by the Radical Studio team in partnership with Ogilvy New York for Citizens Bank, the installation is a celebration of New Yorkers from all walks of life, putting their stories center stage through data, audio, live performance, an immersive film, and an interactive communal portrait. 

This multi-sensory, multi-media experience takes place in a 10,000 square foot space. Four enveloping rooms create unique portraits of New York life – where every borough, every neighborhood, and every individual help contribute to the city’s magic and myth.  

The Living Portrait of NYC showcases the resilience and brilliance of New York and celebrates what it means to be a New Yorker. 

Citizens Bank

Ogilvy New York


Visitors were welcomed into the experience by a typographic installation that took the pulse of the city by compiling current news headlines, cultural happenings, important events, and more, grounding them in the exact moment the event was happening.

The Data Portrait

The experience began with a data-driven portrait of the city – inspired by what happens when 8.8 million unique individuals come together as one. Tickers enveloped guests in the real-time happenings of the city, where data from a custom survey of over 5000 citizens, the city archives, and a scrape of nearly 100 other open sources was distilled into an immersive and engaging visualization of the ways New Yorkers work, play, love, eat, spend and get around.
Three interactive kiosks with touchscreens offered individuals the chance to contribute to the data portrait by taking an interactive quiz that put their answers up for comparison against other New Yorkers. The colors of the kiosks were coordinated with the animation and lighting, resulting in a dynamic and immersive experience that paid homage to a city that never stands still.

The Audio Portrait

No one tells a story quite like a New Yorker. And with so much to experience, there are stories here that just couldn’t have happened anywhere else. To find these stories, we sent a dozen journalists across all five boroughs to conduct in-depth interviews with over 200 New Yorkers.

The best of these stories were presented through the use of directional audio beams, sound design and responsive lighting – allowing guests to step into a beam and have an intimate one-on-one listening experience.
Throughout the day, this audioscape was punctuated with spontaneous live performances from some of New York’s most intriguing citizens – from Nuyorican beat poet, La Bruja, to classically trained drag opera singer, Jasmine Rice Labeija, accomplished Broadway acts like Freestyle Love Supreme, and legendary buskers like Natalia “Saw Lady” Perez.

The Multimedia Portrait

An immersive film captured across 20 shoot days and projection-mapped across 241 custom built screens surrounded guests with a documentary tone poem celebrating life in the city. From the morning rush, to the boundless energy after dark, guests experienced the cacophony and synchronicity, sights and sounds of a 24-hour day in the city. 

The Communal Portrait

An ever-evolving mosaic of New Yorkers allowed guests to become a part of the exhibit. Stepping into an interactive photo booth, guests answered a series of gamified prompts about their New York experience and generated a distinct animated portrait that was added in real-time to our large-scale digital mural. 
Additionally, guests could export these dynamic, individual portraits to be shared across their social channels.
Guests' answers to the quiz fed into a custom application, and were mapped to NY-themed photographs, icons, and adjectives – resulting in a uniquely personalized portrait per person.
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