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Public Space Installation using Augmented Reality to evoke empathy and build sustainable behaviours among people about the climate change.



World has started seeing significant climate shift patterns, ranging from torrential rains to rise in sea level and hurricanes to heatwaves, distorting the way we experience climate. In 2017, the pollution Level Index of Indian city of Delhi, has hit hazardous levels, with high amounts of micro particulate matter harming human health silently. The pace of climate change is daunting. The threats of climate change are huge and despite conventional scientific evidences people overlook it’s scale and intensity. Our project “Climaure (a portmanteau of Climate + Augmented Reality)” would bridge the gap between the perceived abstract notions of climate change and real world experiences.

Climaure is a project that aims to sensitize people towards climate change, thus triggering sustainable behaviours and provide them alternatives for addressing catastrophes due to human caused environmental degradation. The project will empower the public to understand how climate change will affect our lives in future and emphasize the need to take relevant actions for building environmentally sustainable world.

Climaure plans to deploy augmented reality installations at specific public spaces with high population density. The interactive installation will recreate the futuristic view based on the open source data available on climate change. This virtual view is presented to the participant by augmenting with the view from the Climaure experience booth. Depending on the interactive survey, Climaure will predict the effects of climate change for the next 20-100 years. Such personalised visualisations would promote a stronger sense of shared ownership towards the user’s local environment. Benchmark researches in Augmented Reality have shown that it’s impact on human behaviour, psychology and empathy could be transformed into an actionable asset.

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

Outline - Climaure envisaged to change behaviour of the participants by providing them an immersive experience to the consequences of climate change. By studying the behaviours of the local residents and analysing their lifestyle habits the narratives could be tailored accordingly, thus evoking a sense of urgency to address the issue of climate change.

Research suggests that the world is experiencing climate change in different ways, even if the current impacts are not direct. Hence we seek to address this issue by exposing people to the conditions in different parts of the world wherein people have started experiencing climate change already or are experiencing it differently.

Working - Climaure, an augmented reality setup, will essentially provide an immersive spatial lifescale (1:1) view of the environment around them inside a cubicle booth. Interactions can be controlled by physical movements from user inside the installation.

The display projector is integrated inside a black box cubicle, which converts into a live augmented space of the current surrounding view. When a person enters the black box it would project the present outside surroundings on a screen. Thereafter change in climate in that zone would start augmenting gradually and puts the participant in a  futuristic scenario in an effort to draw attention to drastic changes that will locally take place over time. The use of Augmented Reality over current environment will be more connecting at a personal and intimate level, leaving a strong impact to the participant.

In order to make him feel the environment we introduced dynamic elements, simulating a multi scale sensory experience, which would let him see, feel, listen his future environment, thus sensitising the participant to the climate change. Thereby proving a more immersive and participatory digital experience. The content and interactivity of the installation will follow these dynamics.This simulation would expose them to scenarios like rising sea levels, storms, acid rains, poisonous smog, floods, heat waves, and extreme weather scenarios, floods and smog in air etc.

Mid- Fidelity Prototype Demo video -

He would not only experience the change in climate visually but also through sound, tactile and lighting effects creating a much more impact and sensitization. The idea is to make people realise and understand the need for immediate actions, it will also serve as a platform to engage people in public conversations.

AR projections also give participants an interactive overview on climate solutions, providing them with postive and negative outcomes on climate based on their lifestyle choices, as illustrated in the user journey below

Who will take these actions?

Climaure plans to implement the proposal as a collaborative effort with the help of governmental organizations and local NGO’s, and installation can be deployed at various points of Interest. In addition, an online platform will be rolled out for individuals, residents, students, activists etc. to come together and organize this installation project independently at their respective regions. The online platform will provide installation kits and DIY guides to support the technical setup, and work with the above-listed organizations.

Installation Kit - For easy and efficient  installation, a kit will be provided to volunteers. The installation kit consists of a foldable booth, portable inverter battery set, a low-cost projector, a high definition camera and a motion tracking device and proprietary AR software for running the projections.

Where will these actions be taken?

This installation will be exhibited at prominent locations in cities like heritage sites, tourists spots, universities, schools, public gatherings, cultural events, art exhibitions etc. The location selection is based on analysis of factors such as population density, age, interests, income group etc.

For example, Gateway of India, Mumbai, is a popular tourist spot which can be a potential hub to install Climaure, as illustrated 

 Background image source - internet/google image search

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2


Country 3

Sri Lanka

Country 4

United Kingdom

Country 5

United States


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

Behaviour Model - According to Fogg’s Model of Behaviour change (Fogg-2002) three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur, viz. Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. We have integrated a persuasive experience in our proposal. We want people to realise the urgency of the climate change issue and persuading them to rethink about their daily lifestyle choices.

Source : The Fogg Behavior Model, courtesy of Nebo Agency

Through our installation we hope to achieve a behavioural change among large number of people. The narrative serves as a motivation and triggers audiences to reflect upon their lifestyle choices which is our target behaviour.

Impact through Immersive experience - Our narrative embarks audience on a journey wherein they see changes in their current environment like rising sea-levels, cyclones, storms, acid rains, monuments submerged under water etc. We also plan to introduce subtle interactive elements to engage the viewers actively throughout. Engaging people in the immersive environment, provides a connected feeling and provides a deeper sense of responsibility towards their environment. Through Augmented Spaces we intend to connect emotionally with the audience. Empathy generation by seeing the already happening climate change seems more threat.

Studies have also shown that generating empathy creates much more impact than just mere informative video (content). Former also triggers and influences behaviour more effectively. The projection also incorporates climate solutions, the positive and negative outcomes of the lifestyle choices; or example, choosing bicycles over motorised vehicles to travel shorter distances. This campaign will also sensitize participants about their local surroundings which were displayed in the installation.For concern to translate into action, we believe people should see themselves as sharing personal responsibility for the problem and must be informed about specific actions.

What are other key benefits?

  • It will serve as an ice breaker to encourage discussions about combating climate change.
  • It will create a sense of responsibility among people after visualizing the predicted damage caused to their surroundings.
  • It could move people to become active participants and urge them to take actions.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

The cost of project is approximately 12000 USD and is divided as follows

Miscellaneous investment = approx 5000 USD; includes campaign, software development, transport, volunteer reimbursements etc.

Per kit cost - (Low cost projector = 25 USD + Booth Frame = 15 USD + Motion Sensor chip = 20 USD + HD Camera = 10 USD)= 70 USD

Total Installation cost (70 x 100 units) = 7000 USD



Impact Timeline - Climaure's impact in short term will be quite significant, as it is designed to evoke immediate participation, with induction of empathy towards his environment. 

Medium term impact will be strong environment friendly behaviours as a result of climate solutions that are introduced to them in the narratives AR Projections which informs the participant with positive and negative insights about their daily choices and lifestyle.

Project execution Timeline - The project is planned to be in two phases and will start from early 2018, with initial implementation from India, and neighbouring countries, which have high population density. First phase will concentrate on covering the major high footfall areas, as listed in the proposal. The second phase will initiated in late 2018 and will include deployment of installation in other high population zones in the world, thus scaling globally.

About the author(s)

Rudrani Santape is currently pursuing Master's in Design at IIT Hyderabad, India specializing in User Experience and Visual Communication Design. 

Miksham Lal is a Master's of Design Student from Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, India. He has worked on the project's ideation, development of Setup.


Related Proposals


Sheppard, Stephen RJ. "Landscape visualisation and climate change: the potential for influencing perceptions and behaviour." Environmental Science & Policy 8.6 (2005): 637-654.

Nicholson-Cole, Sophie A. "Representing climate change futures: a critique on the use of images for visual communication." Computers, environment and urban systems 29.3 (2005): 255-273.

Dockerty, Trudie, et al. "Visualising the potential impacts of climate change on rural landscapes." Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 29.3 (2005): 297-320.

von Storch, Hans, Eduardo Zorita, and Fidel González-Rouco. "Assessment of three temperature reconstruction methods in the virtual reality of a climate simulation." International Journal of Earth Sciences 98.1 (2009): 67-82.

Shaw, Alison, et al. "Making local futures tangible—synthesizing, downscaling, and visualizing climate change scenarios for participatory capacity building." Global Environmental Change19.4 (2009): 447-463.

Moser, Susanne C. "Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions." Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 1.1 (2010): 31-53.

Agrawal, Arun. "Local institutions and adaptation to climate change." Social dimensions of climate change: Equity and vulnerability in a warming world 2 (2010): 173-178.

Fogg, Brian J. "Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do." Ubiquity 2002.December (2002): 5.