St. John’s College displays pollution pods designed to raise environmental awareness



A pollution pod exhibit was recently installed at St John’s University as a joint art project between St John’s University, the Oxford Cultural Program and the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team. The pods represent different environmental pollution levels and so far he has attracted more than 750 visitors. It aims to raise awareness of pollution and invites the wider Oxford community to join the discussion about the importance of air quality.

Part of a broader series titled “Everything Is Connected,” this piece is an immersive sensory experience by Michael Pinsky that allows participants to enter five geodesic domes. Starting with “The Clean Air of Tautra, Norway,” each of these represents a specific location and “recreates the unique atmosphere found in highly polluted areas such as Beijing, London, São Paulo, and New Delhi.”

The pods “utilize advanced air filtration systems and chemicals to mimic the specific composition and odor of contaminated air,” resulting in an immediate physical reaction. Project manager Jamie Wright says the installation is completely safe despite mimicking Beijing’s air climate.

The five pods have monitors that display data about each city’s air pollution levels using Plume Air Quality Index (AQI) values. A visitor who finished the exhibit said how “sneaky” it felt inside the New Delhi dome and felt “very unpleasant and dirty,” but newcomers said they “could breathe again” when they got outside. He said he was relieved.

When asked about how the installation of Pollutions Pods has progressed so far, Jamie Wright said: Cherwell: “It was an interesting project. I believe this is the first time that a work like this has been exhibited at a university. This is a collaboration between Oxford’s relatively new cultural program and St John’s University and its environmental sustainability program. This is a very unique collaboration for the first time with our gender team.”

He further added: “Working with St. John’s College and the University has been great. I am a freelance arts and culture project manager. It’s great that it’s here in St. John’s because we’re offering it to people in St. John’s.”

Two of John’s students believe the installation will be a positive addition to the university. “Personally, I think this is a very creative idea. It’s a very immersive way to involve people and actively think about climate issues and the environment.” Given the not-so-good and destructive climate protests, I think this is probably a better way to engage people and make them think positively about things. The environment they step into. I think it’s cool, free, and fun. ”

“It’s nice to see people from outside come to the university to see it. It’s great and it’s only for a short period of time so it’s good to experience it while you’re here.”

St. John’s University contamination pod installation is open until 5 p.m. November.

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