The Climate Machine

  • Arts & Culture
  • Installation
  • Sustainability

Climate change can be described as a wicked problem, with a level of complexity that paralyses both policymakers and the public into inaction. The Climate Machine is a pragmatic and artistic engagement with climate change. An interactive installation, it invites users to input energy behaviours with a set of slider switches, and then visualises the resulting carbon footprint.

The Climate Machine is a mirror that changes in clarity with your carbon footprint, and is surrounded with 200 bulbs that switch on and off to represent your energy footprint. On the back is a more detailed visualisation of energy and carbon data.

It is widely believed that, by 2050, global temperature rise should not be allowed to go above two degrees Celsius. To meet this target in the UK, we must reduce our carbon footprint by around 90%.

The lightbulb is used as the basic unit to visualise energy.

A 40W incandescent light bulb left on for a day uses 1KWh of power. In The Climate Machine, this icon of electricity consumption represents the basic unit of energy. People can visualise their lifestyle, with the number of light bulbs constantly on showing their actual energy consumption.

Carbon footprint is visualised through your darkened reflection.

Input your energy lifestyle and electricity supply, with the machine reacting in real time.

A detailed visualisation of your energy and carbon breakdown is displayed on the back.

The machine in operation.