Innovation That Matters

Art installation

Installation recreates polluted environments across the globe

Sport & Fitness

Visitors can experience the Earth’s best and worst polluted cities at a new London art installation

An art installation in London recreates the temperature and air quality of destinations around the world, letting visitors compare environments. Based at Somerset House, the Pollution Pods consist of five connected geodesic domes that visitors can walk through. The Pollution Pods are by British artist Michael Pinsky and first on display in Norway last year. It is a part of Climart’s four-year research project that tests to see if people’s attitude towards climate change can be influenced by visual art.

The Pollution Pods use technology developed by Airlabs, a company based in Denmark, which emulates the pollution mixtures in different cities. Levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide in each Pod vary depending on the city being simulated. Replicating the air quality of cities around the world, the installation draws attention to what we are doing to the Earth. Within each geodesic dome is a replica of the air quality in London, Norway, Beijing, São Paulo and New Delhi. As well as air quality, the Pods replicate the fragrance and temperature of each of the cities. Therefore, visitors experience how hot or cold and dry or humid each location is.

Pinsky’s installation raises awareness on air pollution and how contemporary consumerism impacts our environment and also environments around the world. Additionally, the creators of this technology hope that it is useable as an air purifier in heavily occupied public spaces. The current London installation exhibits the ‘cleanest air in the UK’ as the technology is capable of removing all air pollution within a dome.

We have previously published many environmental innovations that seek to tackle air pollution and climate change.  For example, a protest beer in Scotland donates proceeds to a climate change charity. It also sources its ingredients from areas heavily affected by global warming. Another example is a cryptocurrency from Spain for trading carbon credits. It aims to encourage companies that are environmentally-friendly to offset their carbon emissions. What other mediums can help change people’s perspectives on climate change?




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