Please start slowing down
your breathing ...



In this divided and fast-moving world, BREATHE is an invitation to slow down, gather around, and breathe together in unison. It allows us to take respite from our hectic city lives and feel connected both to ourselves and to others, globally.

The installation’s central heartbeat is a fifteen-metre rising sphere pulsing with a warm and rhythmic light; the epicentre from which the breath emanates. This pulse radiates outwards to unite people across a city in a shared experience. Key monuments, natural features and public screens pulse in sync with the sphere; a whole city breathing as one.

Wider still, the globally synchronised animation above enables friends, family and strangers around the world to slow down and breathe in unison, at any time.


May 16 – 26 2024 World premiere in Geneva, Switzerland
Host: Ville de Genève

The pulsing sphere (heartbeat and epicentre) was located on the Plaine de Plainpalais.

The following monuments throughout the city were also illuminated with synchronised pulsing lights:

  • Geneva Water Fountain
  • United Nations Office, Geneva
  • World Health Organization, Geneva
  • Geneva Opera House
  • Rath Museum
  • Harbour Lighthouse
See map


Dan Acher's BREATHE is a 15-metre pulsating dome of light which invites us to come together and breathe in unison. Its rhythmic light provides a gentle, steady guide to help us slow down, take respite from our hectic city lives, and feel connected both to ourselves and to others, globally.

Informed by science, BREATHE engages us in the present moment and re-awakens our sense of belonging and connection. It’s an awe-inspiring and simple reminder that in essence - regardless of our differences - we share a common humanity and future. The experience re-awakens our sense of interconnection, as a common species, with the world we live in.

The BREATHE sphere glows from dark to light and back in repeated cycles, mirroring inhalations and exhalations of 6 seconds each, and features a synchronised sound design by Laurent Jespersen.

Beyond the sphere : city-wide pulsing

While the physical rising sphere is the heartbeat of BREATHE, its presence is the catalyst for a larger city-wide experience. Across squares, parks and avenues, key monuments, natural features and public screens pulse in sync, amplifying the installation’s resonance and uniting the whole city in a shared experience.

Breathe now - Dan Acher


Conscious breathing has been used to restore body and mind for thousands of years, all over the world. More recently it has been scientifically proven that simple breathing exercises can:

  • calm the mind
  • improve focus and concentration
  • improve cognitive performance
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • lower blood pressure
  • relax physical tension
  • reduce fatigue and improve endurance
  • improve quality of sleep

Breathing exercises are accessible to everyone, anywhere, and regular practice can help maintain a calm and clear emotionally balanced state throughout the day.

Cardiac coherence

Cardiac coherence, or heart coherence, is a state in which our heart, our mind, and our emotions are aligned. We have the capacity to bring on this state simply through slower and deeper breathing, with the initial aim of decreasing our heart rate. In turn, a slower heart rate makes us feel calmer and more focused, leading to better concentration, higher endurance and generally improved cognitive performance.

Most of us breathe at a rate of 12 to 20 inhalations & exhalations per minute. We can aim to slow this down at least a couple of times a day, with a rate of 5 to 6 breaths per minute considered optimal for improved physical and mental health.

We can all achieve cardiac coherence through simple breathing techniques. The BREATHE pulse and soundscape can guide you through this process:

  1. Breathe in slowly for 5 or 6 seconds: fill your lungs gradually.
  2. Exhale slowly for 5 or 6 seconds: a smooth and steady exhale helps activate the relaxation response.

Repeating this cycle for 5 to 10 minutes twice daily can help you shift your heart into a coherent state for optimal wellbeing.

Breathe now - Dan Acher


Artivist Dan Acher is the founder of Happy City Lab and an Ashoka Fellow based in Geneva, Switzerland. Central to his work is art as generator of change across local and global communities.

Dan uses cities as playgrounds in which citizens of all backgrounds can connect and engage with the key issues of our time, both individually and collectively. His large-scale installations are designed to evoke awe and communal introspection; their size and humanity remind us that we are all in this together. Dan and his projects have toured extensively around the world.


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