clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Catch a whiff of polluted cities in these geodesic domes

Behold, “Pollution Pods”

Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky at Somerset House for Earth Day 2018.
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid for Somerset House

What does New Delhi smell like in the middle of a hot, sunny day? Not great, according to the artist Michael Pinksy. For his new project, Pollution Pods, Pinksy recreated the atmospheres of five cities—New Delhi, São Paulo, London, Beijing, and Tautra Island, Norway— and encapsulated them in transparent pods in the courtyard of London’s Somerset House.

Each pod reflects the city’s climate—for example, New Delhi is hot and hazy, Norway is cool and clear—and the smell of the air. Pinsky worked with scientists and scent specialists to recreate the smells, which they say are aren’t harmful beyond the sheer sensory unpleasantness of breathing in something like “Living Diesel,” London’s signature scent.

Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky at Somerset House for Earth Day 2018.
Peter Macdiarmid for Somerset House

Visitors wander through the geodesic pods, getting a feel (or rather, a smell) for what it’s like to live in a massively polluted city— or in the case of Tautra Island, a perfectly pristine environment. The piece, which was commissioned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is part of the Climate Project, which aims to use art to change public perception around climate change.

Can Pollution Pods really inform visitors how real the environmental stakes are for cities around the world? At the very least, it’s a very good advertisement for booking a trip to Norway.

Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky at Somerset House for Earth Day 2018.
Peter Macdiarmid for Somerset House

Via: The Guardian