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 ·  Prentiss Riddle

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View Civic Science and Activism


With urban environments becoming permeated by algorithm and software running basic urban infrastructure, defining patterns of access and mobility, and collecting massive amounts of data for GIS databases, we should no longer talk solely about Internet, social media or mobile phones when considering the implications and inherent potentials of the digital within every realm of daily practices.

Examples of Air Quality Civic Science Projects

NATURAL FUSE by Usman Haque
‘“Natural fuse” is a micro-scale carbon dioxide overload protection framework that works locally and globally, harnessing the carbon-sinking capabilities of plants.’

AIR:: Area’s Immediate Reading by Preemptive Media Project
‘AIR is a public, social experiment in which people are invited to use Preemptive Media’s portable air monitoring devices to explore their neighborhoods and urban environments for pollution and fossil fuel burning hotspots.’

PIGEONBLOG by Beatriz da Costa
‘Pigeonblog was a collaborative endeavor between homing pigeons, artists, engineers and pigeon fanciers engaged in a grassroots scientific data gathering initiative designed to collect and distribute information about air quality conditions to the general public.’

BUCKET BRIGADE by Attorney Ed Masry
‘Masry hired an environmental engineer to design a low cost device (similar to a canister) that communities could use to take air samples. The “Bucket” was designed, providing the foundation for the Bucket Brigade to begin empowering community members to monitor the air for themselves.’

Examples of Media Labs

‘Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms. We are activists, educators, technologists, and community organizers interested in new ways to promote action, intervention, and awareness through a participatory research model.’

‘A collaborative research laboratory focusing on the critical intersection of human life, our living planet, and technology…’

‘Medialab-Prado is a program of the Department of Arts of the City Council of Madrid, aimed at the production, research, and dissemination of digital culture and of the area where art, science, technology, and society intersect.’


‘Manage real-time data from sensors, devices, and environments: send your data to Pachube in real-time; leverage a powerful API; get applications; use and benefit from the community’s data.’