Michael Pinsky's Pollution Pods at UEL
05 October 2021
At the University of East London (UEL) sustainability is more than a buzzword.
Our research has real world impact within our local community and on a global scale. Throughout October to December, we will be showcasing some of our world leading research projects, introducing you to the University's sustainability 'stars' and running events that allow you to understand the issues our planet faces and how you can be part of the solutions!
The sustainability showcase kicks off on Friday 8 October with the Pollution Pods, by the artist Michael Pinsky, exhibiting on our Docklands campus before they tour the UK including featuring at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
What are the Pollution Pods?
The Pollution Pods were created in 2017 by Michael Pinsky, reader in fine art, to bring to life the health impact of the climate crisis, focussing specifically on air pollution.
The pods are a set of geodesic domes where the air quality, smell and temperature recreates the pollution of five different locations on three continents: London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi and Tautra, a remote peninsula in Norway.
Visitors can pass through the pods to compare the quality of these different environments, from the clean air of Tautra to urban metropolises like Beijing.
The installation was designed to explore if art could change someone’s perception of, and action around, climate change. Engagement with Pollution Pods has been so successful that they will feature at COP26 at the end of this month.
Why does this matter?
9 out of 10 people globally breathe in air that exceeds WHO safety guidelines, and air pollution kills around 7 million people globally each year. To help you visualise that, that's equal to the entire population of the City of London.
The pods can convey to COP26; the visceral experience of air pollution, the clinical expertise on the harm to our bodies, and the impact on people in the UK and around the world, making it much harder for politicians to ignore."
Did you know?
Pinsky has worked closely with UEL students as part of an exciting intern scheme where students from architecture, visual arts and engineering collaborate to help deliver live cultural projects which engage the public on climate change issues.
The students will build, adapt and maintain the Pods through their journey from London to COP26.
How to visit the pods?
The pods will be open to students, staff and the local community from 2pm on Friday 8 October at the University's Docklands campus in London outside the West Building on the main square.
Join the conversation!
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