Seeing Climate Change

2020, Ontario Science Centre
climate change, Ontario Science Centre, point of view, weston youth innovation award
About This Project

Date: August 2020
Partners: Ontario Science Centre; Weston Family Foundation
Location: Hot Zone in the Weston Family Innovation Centre ,​​Ontario Science Centre
Project Members: Matthew Dominico, Viviana Gomez, Zi Huang.
Seeing Climate Change​ explores how we can represent climate change through different perspectives, ideas, and technologies at the intersections of art and science. As part of the thematic redevelopment of the Hot Zone at the Ontario Science Centre (OSC), this exhibit in the Innovation Gallery tackles our need to visualize climate data to support our understanding of climate change as an urgent and ongoing issue. By looking at the problem from different perspectives, climate change is something that together we have the power to address.
Following our selection of the project in October 2019, our initial goal was to challenge common preconceptions about innovation. This led to the idea that innovation isn’t always in the form of objects or solutions but through ways of seeing and questioning what we otherwise take for granted. With the approval of our overall idea (innovation, perspective, and climate climate change) in November 2019, we then worked on specific elements that would show how visitors can experience climate data from multiple perspectives and innovative ideas. From December 2019 to March 2020, we completed an exhibit development package for the OSC,which included documents that will guide the ongoing development of this exhibit, e.g. an interpretive plan, exhibit vision board, kiosk wire frames, panel draft copies, and ideas for an interactive game. The majority of our proposed elements have been approved by the OSC, however, due to budget constraints and other ongoing projects, all amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our exhibit has been delayed to August 2020 (tentative).
Different exhibit elements will highlight different connections between innovation, perspective,and climate change. For example, shown here is the Show Your Stripes image for Canada, which visualizes ongoing changes in Canadian annual temperatures from 1901–2018. Infrared cameras in the gallery space will allow visitors to see themselves in a new way while exploring the concept of heat and greenhouse gasses. In addition to these technology-based visuals, a large lenticular panel and an anamorphic image will adorn different exhibit walls; these will encourage visitors to physically explore different perspectives in order to see the printed image. These exhibit strategies also help to draw visitors into the gallery space and present opportunities for social media.
A portion of the exhibit space will be dedicated to showing recent winners of the Weston Youth Innovation Award. This award is given to young Canadians who have made important contributions to their communities using their innovations and innovative perspectives. We aim to highlight these extraordinary young people and shed light on their processes of innovation in hopes of inspiring other youth in the community to innovate. A large monitor in the exhibit space will show the current winner and their innovation. A small kiosk will allow visitors to look through past winner bios and learn more about their innovations. Text panels will be used sparingly to highlight sponsors of the gallery (the Weston Family Foundation).
We would like to thank the OSC for this project opportunity and especially those who assisted us along the way. We would like to thank our exhibit manager, Sabrina Gruepner, as well as Kevin von Appen and the entire project team at the OSC for their guidance and assistance throughout this project. We would also like to thank Hayley Bryant, Camille Mary-Sharp, and Dr. Agniezka Chalas for their continued support throughout the year.