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An installation called Pollution Pods was featured in London to recreate the most and least polluted cities in the world.
Designed by artist Michael Pinsky, the Pollution Pods were made of five interconnected small domes that visitors can visit. The domes simulated different environmental conditions in New Delhi, São Paulo / ˈsaʊ ˈpaʊ loʊ /, London, Beijing, and Norway’s Tautra [toh-truh]. The climate in each pod was controlled to specifically reflect the cities’ temperature, air quality, and scent.
To recreate New Delhi’s poor air quality, three column heaters and a smog-producing machine were used. São Paulo’s polluted atmosphere was imitated by applying an ethanol-based fuel that powers many vehicles. A scent called “Living Diesel” filled the London pod because cars are believed to be the leading cause of pollution in the city.
While the Beijing dome was not as polluted as the others, the Tautra dome was the one that stood out the most because it was the cleanest of all. It used a technology that purifies the air, which made sure that the Tautra dome was free from pollutants like nitrogen dioxide.
The Pollution Pods exhibit, which took place in time for Earth Day in April, was Pinsky’s collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The project aimed to examine the effects of visual arts on climate change perceptions.
Gillian Benjamin, one of the domes’ visitors, attested to the exhibit’s impact on raising awareness of air pollution. He shared that the differences in the domes’ environmental conditions are something that would resonate with the audience.