Starting from a concern about the quality of the air we breathe locally, citizen David Fryer and designers Ben Durack and Kevin Mulhern worked collaboratively to design and produce a small batch of air pollution monitors already present in Aberdeen.
This workshop, facilitating another eight participants aimed to increase the network whilst also enabling the practitioners to use this platform as a case study for future development of the monitors. Participants were able to build their own monitor, supported by Ben and Kevin. It was then theirs to take home measuring the quality of the air within their own environment
The workshop is situated in a global network of citizens science projects as a response to increasing concerns about air pollution in cities. Through the creative commons license and open data platforms, citizens are able to participate in the issues that concern them, and Aberdeen is no different.
See the monitors live by visiting Luftdaten
With thanks to Aberdeen Central library for use of their media centre and our participants who with their diverse backgrounds and interests in attending the program made it fantastic!
The workshop was supported by funding from Grays School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Photo credit: Rory Barclay
Has a keen interest in environmental issues. He's an activist, a community entrepreneur and a lead trustee for the Torry Development Trust. A charitable organisation focusing on the challenges of urban regeneration, the environmental protection of green spaces and recognition of the arts, history and culture of Torry.
Torry Development Trust
With a background in commercial product development he moved to Aberdeen in 2016 to manage MAKE Aberdeen, an open access digital fabrication studio in the city centre*. He is passionate about empowering the public with the tools and knowledge to be able to experiment and innovate. He now works as a Lecturer in Digital Design & Manufacture at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen.
*MAKE Aberdeen was run by the Robert Gordon University and was part of a global network of 'fablabs'. Bringing together a community of professionals and enthusiasts in technology, design, engineering and coding. It was closed in 2018.
A Director of 57North Hacklab, a community based collaborative space where exploration and experimentation of science, technology and art is encouraged. Kevin previously worked as an electrical technician in the drilling industry, but has recently committed to pursuing a degree in economics at the University of Aberdeen.
DIY Air Pollution Monitors Talk
Kevin Mulhern and Ben Durack
The talk was delivered in the Central Library of Aberdeen on the 28th of June. Fresh from the latest workshop, it was an opportunity to share the system and technology.
A contextual introduction was delivered by Rachel Grant, introducing the landscape of DIY air pollution sensor use globally, outlining the tensions in the use of or limitations in this current form for generating political agency. A conversational form was then used, framed by a series of questions for the panel and audience members were encouraged to make comments and ask questions.
Environmental and community activist David Fryer, unfortunately could not attend due to other commitments however his voice in this collaboration was acknowledged in the introductory text.