Thursday, September 05, 2013

Float Beijing - Using Kites to Monitor Air Quality and Relay Health Index Information to the Public

For the 20 million residents of Beijing, air pollution -- and the lack of official information about it -- is a constant concern. Until recently, eye-watering smog was the only reliable sign that car fumes and smoke had reached unsafe levels, but now two young designers have come up with a more elegant and accurate indicator of air quality. Link to the article on CNN - September 4th, 2013.

Link to article in Inhabitat --- FLOAT Beijing is an interactive, community driven art project that uses kite making and kite flying to activate dialogue, map and record air quality in Beijing, China. Urban air quality is a serious issue that affects rapidly industrializing cities globally, and it is an issue kept quiet by the government of China due to fears of criticism and protest from the public. At the same time, there is ample opportunity to use cheap, easily accessible microcontroller technology for grassroots air quality mapping. Through a series of workshops, FLOAT empowers and enables local residents to take air quality monitoring into their own hands, while establishing new relationships and networks within the community through the act of group kite making and flying.

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