NOMINEES

FLOAT Beijing
Community category

About

A kite project allows Beijing citizens to monitor air quality

Detailed Description:
An open source project in Chinese capital of Beijing allows the city's citizens to monitor their local aerial environment by flying kites equipped with air quality sensors.

Known drawbacks of design:
Unknown

Website:
http://f-l-o-a-t.com/

Designed in:
2012

Status of realization:
In production

Challenge(s):
Co-existence, Environment, Health

Region of use:
Asia

Form/Impact/Context

Form
FLOAT Beijing is using a combination of DIY electronics workshops and group kite flights. Through this, Beijing residents became engaged in the process of air quality monitoring for themselves, as well as seeing the data visually through LEDs, as well as stored data on SD cards. These modules use Arduino and are relatively easy to put together; workshops with local residents focused on talking about urban air quality, soldering and assembling the modules, as well as attaching them to kites. The LEDs on the hand-built kites are programmed to indicate air quality with different colours; green being the best and pink being the worst. Data was interactively mapped in real-time using geolocation; the idea is to light up the sky with a squad of sensor kites that will give a general sense of how good or bad the air pollution is -- and to collect and parse the data in one place.

Impact
The idea is to give people the tools for knowledge.It’s citizen-science - that’s the main goal. We’re trying to interact with people on the street and see what they’re trying to do with the information they see. I don’t plan to argue that this is the most accurate data because there are many potential reasons for differences in air quality reports. We want to just keep it up, upload the data, and focus on that more after we come back. (Guler, Co-founder FLOAT Beijing)

Context
Though the notoriously poor air quality of Beijing is hardly a secret, Chinese government officials recently upbraided foreign embassies for making such information public online (the U.S. Embassy hourly tweets updates of local air quality). FLOAT allows the city's citizens to monitor their local aerial environment by flying kites equipped with air quality sensors.

Business

Is the design protected by patent or ip registration?
none

How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Personal investment

Is there a plan for future investments?
Not known

Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?
Not known

Credits

Designed by:
Xiaowei Wang

Title/Role:
Community/Space Design

Website:
http://xiaoweiwang.com/index.php?/about-this-site/

Professional status of designer:
Student

Nationality:
China

City/Country of residence:
USA

Designed by:
Deren Guler

Title/Role:
Electronic Design

Website:
http://www.cranked-out.com/

Professional status of designer:
Student

Nationality:
United States of America

City/Country of residence:
USA