The beauty of lotus flowers to explain the science behind air quality issues

What's new?

We've been working on new projects linked to air quality with The Internet of Curious Things.

At the recent Art of Tinkering event, during Leeds Digital Festival, we created a 'Digital Peony' project and started to look at embedding smart sensors into paper craft activities. Those visualisations took temperature, humidity and light data from the workshop space and, using the Envirosense add-on with Codebug, illuminated the paper flowers with strings of LEDs.

collage of paper lotus flowers with LEDs added to visualise environmental data

Why flowers?

Now we’ve taken inspiration from the Japanese lotus flower, known for it’s ability to rise up from a bed of mud each morning and emerge as a flawless and beautiful bloom, to develop latest activities to help everyone understand the science behind air quality.

What's the connection with air quality?

Lotus flowers are said to be resistant to pollution and have a water-purifying function, with symbolism different across numerous cultures where it plays a role.

We’ve used them to help share messages about air quality, using their beauty to make issues visible to everyone as a floral and visual spectacle.

Creative Problem Solving

Here's how:

1. Paper Flower Craft

collage showing napkin origami to create lotus flowers

2. Embedding Envirosense and LEDs

lotus flowers with sensors and leds

IWD2018: Inventions of the Future with Woman@ASML

On International Women's Day we partnered with The Ada Show again to launch a new 'Inventions of the Future' project.

This time the challenge centred around Ada Lovelace conceptualising a flying machine in 1828.

Now it was the turn of staff at ASML in Eindhoven to consider environmental change using the power of flight. Envirosense was used to connect the kites to the surrounding environment and become data collection nodes through flight.

team of 5 women adding wearable tech and sensors to a kite

Over the day, the Women@ASML community led teams of staff to design, build and test their own connected kites.

group of adults and children testing 2 kites with environment sensors attached outdoors

And of course to lead the first test flights during the afternoon!