Climate Cubes

Multi Sensory Design + Climate Change

Climate change is an issue being voiced by people throughout the world. Cites deal with these environmental challenges in their own way due to their economic circumstance.


Through these concerns, this installation gives a multi-sensory insight into how climate change is affecting the most developed, developing and undeveloped cities of the world through a set of interactive boxes.

Initial Project Direction:

Crazy Eights Design Sprint


This was a helpful start to the project I had to think fast, work with my peers when coming up with ideas and think out of the box rather than create conventional design ideas. 

Research + Inspiration

With Multi-sensory design being a new area of interest, it meant that research and understanding this subject area was vital.


Designer Kenya Hara and his idea of Senseware and information architecture became a topic of interest. As well as David Genco's project 'Synesthetic Calculus' which specifically looks at Synesthesia. 


These experiences were important for the direction of Climate Cubes. 


Multi-sensory design through poetry.

From the influence of my initial research, I created a prototype that combined multiple senses and multi-sensory design through a physical experience.  


I use the poem 'A Country in Spring' by Ken Lin and visualised one line, ​"Beside the brook, the lush grass thickens" as its very descriptive and I thought it showed a good understanding of multi-sensory design through a prototype. 


Wireframes + Construction

Using Illustrator, I created a low fidelity prototype to create my initial design. Creating this simple sketch informed me of the integration of components and a possible layout. 

I have transferred/tweaked the design onto a box, as it works better when used by the user. This helps to imagine the intended outcome easily and has allowed me to proceed with the construction of the box.

I have transferred/tweaked the design onto a box, as it works better when used by the user. This helps to imagine the intended outcome easily and has allowed me to proceed with the construction of the box.


Based upon my previous prototypes, I found certain aspects would not work well, for example, changing the background colour from black to grey as it did not represent the environment of the poem. Also making it a physical object not only added another sense, but it also influenced my initial research and the final outcome of this project. 


Brook - an image + sound (sight + sound)

Lush grass - artificial grass + smell (sight + touch + smell)

Poem line - (sight + touch)

As my prototype was directed towards the environment, I was keen to continue with this through the next stage of this project; I decided to look at current environmental issues surrounding the state of London.


During the making of this project climate change was a focal point in the media I thought it would be interesting to work with today’s current issues. 


My research led me to the Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells which has been a huge influence.

Design Ideas

Climate Change of London

What, Why + How

  • What: create a multi-sensory installation representing London’s climate change issues

  • Why: to raise awareness for climate change in London, the largest city in Europe to see the current effects/causes of it today

  • How: using an enclosed space to peak through into specific climate change issue  


Areas: Population, Pollution, Weather

There was difficulty in perusing this idea, different boroughs of London were very similar which limited the variety of data collected and the way the data could be shown. To resolve this problem, I decided to look at climate change on a global scale.

Final Design Idea

Exploring and understanding how to combine multi-sensory design and climate change within the use of a single box

Sight – the size of boxes (gets bigger) – depending on the size of the population 

Sound – volume (increases) – a ‘ping’, pitch change

Smell – intensity (increases)

Touch – weight (gets heavier) – depending on the amount of CO2 

I did not include taste as a sense as it was difficult to include it in the build of cubes and cause some restrictions when presenting it in an exhibition setting.


Tokyo, Japan (developed)

Delhi, India (developing)

Ethiopia, Africa (undeveloped)

London, United Kingdom (developed + current location)

I decided to choose four countries that were the most developed and undeveloped as it shows a broad range of data and a greater understanding of how climate change affects different countries. 


Throughout the research stage, all the data I collected did not have any visual elements. I thought it would be interesting to apply and interactive element. 


The build of the boxes will be made out of black acrylic. I wanted the user to interact with the boxes, to discover the data rather than it be shown directly to the user this is why I chose a simple design. 

I first imaged the boxes to show the location and country of each box for aesthetic purposes, but I realised this would not work as it interfered with the positioning of the smell content.

The Build 


Each box is made out of acrylic and represents the population of each city.


Inside the box has clay to provide a scaled-down weight of CO2.


Smell relates to energy consumption. Different intensities of the coffee are placed in each box.


The pitch is different to each box as it relates to the rise of sea levels.. 


This has been made through code and an MP3 trigger. When the box is lifted, the sound is played. Conductive paint is placed under each box as well as a layer of foil for the sound. 


Alongside the cubes, it was necessary to provide an infographic to inform the users of what the data informs. For my submission, I created an infographic explaining all four senses and the climate change issues.


I started experimenting with different layouts. I kept the layout black and white to match the design of the cubes. 

Final Outcome

As I was exhibiting my work, I created four separate infographics. I thought using the previous design wouldn’t work in terms of layout and how the cubes were to be displayed. The cubes where make out of black acrylic and where laser engraved, I decided to do that on the infographics. 


Exhibited and filmed at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London Degree Show.