Abstract

The authors’ project O-Tū-Kapua (what clouds see) explored concepts related to air quality by creating a mixed reality, art/science, educationally focused exhibition for children, mixing participatory art, scientific concepts and technology. The young are directly affected by the social and environmental impacts of the changing world climate, making their voices particularly important in determining ongoing dialogue about Earth's atmosphere. Through a nexus of the handmade, education, augmented technology, installation and aural soundscapes, O-Tū-Kapua engaged over 1,000 children. The project also combined real-time air quality and weather data, superimposing it as a virtual data layer on top of hand-drawn images of native flora and fauna. The magnitude of the data determined the visual and aural form of the virtual experience, creating environmentally responsive representations that enabled participants to readily see and interpret how the atmosphere was affecting the native forest in their neighborhood.

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