BUGGY AIR AT DESIGN FRONTIERS
We have made a new version of our Buggy Air air pollution sensing kit, which is a continued collaboration between Hugh Knowles from Friends of the Earth, IoTA Academy, Virtual Technologies, ScienceScope and ourselves. The device will be shown for the first time between 19th – 24th September at the Design Frontiers exhibition as part of the London Design Festival at Somerset House.
The prototype was built by our designers Jon Flint and Alix McCabe, with thanks to Paul Tanner and David Crellin for all their hard work. To celebrate the imminent launch of our new prototype I decided to have a chat with our designer Jon Flint to find out more.
Jake: Can you tell us a little bit about the new prototype?
Jon: It is significantly smaller than our previous model, which allows it to be attached to a variety of different objects. You can put it on a buggy, a bike, or even a rucksack/handbag. It’s more adaptable for different users with a new strap design, so we can get people using it in a wider range of situations. The device has a smaller circuit board with smaller sensors attached which allows for the new smaller design.
It also has more vents to allow for better air flow, which will promote better quality readings.
Jake: What are we going to do with the new model?
Jon: We are looking to get some more funding to start another trial. For this trial, we’d like to make more of the devices and expand the scope by using it on different modes of transport. The intention is to collect varied and diverse data sets, which can create a more dynamic map of the city’s air pollution. We want to connect this data with local councils, schools and other institutions for direct, location action.
(And here’s an interesting factoid! We found out that an ongoing Freedom of Information Request to TfL indicates that Southwark Borough Council do no air pollution monitoring of Rotherhithe Tunnel’s ventilation shafts or entrance. Want to know more?)
Jake: What’s up your sleeve for the new device in the near future?
Jon: We are showing the new Buggy Air in an installation called “Moving Mephitic Air” which is a collaboration between ourselves and our good friends at Strange Telemetry and Wesley Goatley. We captured air pollution data from six cycle journeys around London: Somerset House to Elephant & Castle; Somerset House to Clerkenwell; Rotherhithe Tunnel; Kings Cross to Marylebone; Hackney Central to Homerton; and The Department for Transport to City Hall.
Strange Telemetry and Wesley have used the data to visualise and sonify three of the different pollutants contained in the data sets. “Moving Mephitic Air” will go on display from the 19th – 24th September at the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House.