NEW YORK -- For years, Brian August was obsessed with looking at the World Trade Center.
Then 9/11 happened and August's focus shifted: he began imagining what the twin towers would look like from various spots around New York if they were still standing. Now he's trying to help the rest of us get the same view of the buildings that once defined this city's skyline.
Working with developers from the industrial design company [zero], August is planning a free iPhone app that will superimpose -- at scale, as it would have looked 10 years ago -- the World Trade Center for any user who points his or her phone at ground zero. To accomplish this, August is trying to raise $25,000 through a Kickstarter page he has set up. (He's already raised about half that amount.)
The app itself will do three things. It will orient the phone toward the site of the twin towers, render a pencil-like drawing of the buildings, and enable people to post and comment on the images they make with the app online.
August told The Huffington Post he hopes the app will prompt people to tell their stories about the World Trade Center. He remembers growing up and watching the twin towers reveal themselves as his dad drove him around in the car, and he remembers moving to Brooklyn a few years ago to find that his beautiful view of Manhattan felt severely lacking.
"I know that one day I'm going to be telling my kids or my nephew how big the towers were and it's going to be really difficult to describe," August said. "It's tough to appreciate when it's not a real spot anymore."
And that's the true goal of the 110 Stories project -- to recreate the view of the towers from 110 different places. August says if he can raise the money to launch the app in time for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks this September, he'll spend up to the next two years working on a public art installation. He'll find 110 spots in the tri-state area from which the view of the towers used to be clear and build outlines of them, creating the illusion that they're still standing.
He's already done this once, as illustrated above, using a piece of copper tubing that his friend held up on his roof. Now, August, who has no prior experience with public art installations, hopes to move to a much bigger stage.
"I'm just a crazy person with an idea," he said.
Watch a video produced about the project below: