Artist: Pollution Monitoring Fashion, Contextual Research


6-12th March

Recent Graduates of The Interactive Telecommunications Programme. The designer and programmer collaborated and wanted to create a wearable that indicated when someone was around highly polluted areas we encounter every day. Using biometric sensors the artists quantify the amount of carbon monoxide in the air and visualise the readings using muscle wire on thermochromatic fabric. User ScenarioUsing sensors to detect air pollution, the garment will react by revealing a warning sign to inform others around them essentially becoming a wearable sign.

Warning Signs is a visualization of the pollution that exists invisibly all around us. When the wearable senses carbon monoxide, the piece subtly changes color and pattern to indicate higher levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere to the wearer and those around him or her. The piece is designed to provoke conversation within its simple form and subtle reaction to the environment. This piece was designed and created by Nien Lam and Sue Ngo. – Nien Lam’s Blog

What they use: Implementation CO2 sensor, thermochromic fabric, microcontroller and nitinol wire (heating element)

These are the two final prototypes:


warning signs from Susan Ngo on Vimeo.

This piece has really inspired me and I believe their way of illustrating pollution and how it is a growing issue in today’s day and age works really well. I feel using lights like Lam and Ngo would work really well if I looked into nuclear waste and radio activity.Nien Lam and Sue Ngo, they collaborated and produced a collection of clothing that warns us of the risks of our heavy pollution lifestyle. Ngo and Lam came up with the concept of warning signs, a visualisation of the pollution that exists invisibly all around us. In the presence of carbon monoxide, the warning signs subtly change colour from a healthy pink to an ominous grey. They then created a short film, documenting the way it changes. This way of working visually, with lights and film and the context behind it really fascinates me and I find it really intreating, thus I will research the designers, lights and film more thoroughly and see if I can incorporate this into my work too.

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