Phoenix Transect Project

PROJECT: Heat(e)scape

The Heat(e)scape project emerged when Sean Deckert, an artist interested in the urban heat island effect, met with Karina Benessaiah, a geographer interested in how people perceive and adapt to changing social and ecological systems. Through the combination of infrared & normal video camera systems with interviews and music, this project seeks to articulate a more nuanced understanding of heat in the Phoenix metro area. How are neighborhood heatscapes differing? How are people perceiving and more importantly adapting to the Phoenix heat? By allowing us to visually navigate heatscapes at the local level, thermal imaging* provides a novel way to relate climate to place and the people that inhabit it.

*Thermal imaging, or infrared, measures the thermal energy emitted by objects. Infrared produces images that visually represent parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are usually not visible but are instead perceived as heat by humans. For more information regarding this technology, go to

Support for Heat(E)scapes was provided by Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability SMART Lab, Phoenix Transect, FLIR Infrared Cameras and Phoenix Urban Research Lab.


Contributor: Sean Deckert & Karina Benessaiah
Title: Downtown Phoenix | A Thermal Car Ride
Description: 2 Channel video, infrared & daylight 1:57
Date: 4/2012
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: People, Public Space, Recreation, Roads, Transportation, Urban, All Images


Contributor: Sean Deckert & Karina Benessaiah
Title: Tempe | Mill Avenue Thermal Tour
Description: 2 Channel video from infrared and daylight
Date: 4/2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Audio, Commercial, Development, Energy, Heat, Infrared, Interview, Mass Transit, Public Buildings, Public Space, Retail, Transportation, Video, All Images