Particulate matters - making the invisible visible

an interactive installation





The threat, fine particulate matter - commonly known as air pollution - poses to the health and life quality of breathing organisms is evident, yet widely downplayed or not even perceived at all. The installation is an interactive data visualisation of PM 2.5 and PM 10 data. It's goal is to create awareness in making an invisible threat to human health more comprehensible for the layperson by making it visible.

Through a haptic interface the user can actively compare different air quality conditions by navigating through different measurement stations in the world and travelling forth and back in time, while having the simulated particle system respond to the data accessed accordingly. In addition to projecting the particle simulation on the layers of the semi- translucent 3D-screen, the corresponding raw data is shown on a small LED screen.

The code for the particle simulation was written in the Processing IDE (Java) and the Arduino IDE (C++). The physical interface was implemented using two potentiometers (navigation through the data array) and a small LED screen (visualising the raw data) connected to an Arduino micro-controller. DIY 3D-Screen The frame was constructed using battens from the hardware store. Off-the-shelf mosquito nets were clamped along the edges. With an airbrush, high reflective paint was evenly applied to the meshes surface, to ensure optimised visibility of the projected particles.