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I'M CLIMATE: An Interactive Installation at Nuit Blanche

September 21, 2023 4 minute read

Are we just spectators or active participants in the climate system?

That's the question our Data Visualization Studio, ARCTRN Group, seeks to answer. We've embarked on a mission to engage people in a thought-provoking experience that's not just about climate change but about our role as active participants in this critical global narrative.

Our interactive installation, to be displayed for the first time at Toronto's Nuit Blanche, is a captivating journey through time, symbolizing Canada's evolving climate over the past century. It's more than just lights; it's a visual representation of the profound impact of human actions on our climate. It's about understanding the consequences of our choices and the intricate relationship we share with the systems that sustain us.

As you step into our installation, you'll encounter physical buttons and a series of intriguing "Yes, No, Maybe" questions. Your answers won't just linger in the air; they'll trigger immediate visual updates. Watch as the lights change, illustrating how your choices ripple through the environment. It's a reminder that we all have a stake in the game when it comes to addressing climate change.

A static representation of our generative visualization installation.

Climate change isn't a distant, abstract concept anymore—it's an urgent matter demanding our attention. Ed Hawkins (, a distinguished climate professor at the University of Reading in the U.K., has used innovative "bar code charts" to make the point. These charts vividly display rising temperatures as colourful bars, providing a snapshot of how much warmer our planet has become in recent decades. His intention is to ensure that the public is aware of the real-time climate changes happening right in their own neighborhoods.

#ShowYourStripes Visualization by Prof. Ed Hawkins depicting temperature change in Canada from 1881-2022

In our application, the colour scale tells the story of Toronto's climate from 1841 to 2017. It ranges from a chilly 5.5°C (depicted in dark blue) to a toasty 11.0°C (in dark red). Each light stripe represents the average temperature for a given year. The deeper the blue, the colder that year was; reds signify warmer temperatures.

But why should you care about these rising temperatures? Well, the implications vary depending on where you live. In the northern regions, it might mean the heartbreaking sight of melting permafrost and receding sea ice. In Ontario, it could translate to sweltering summer heatwaves and more unpredictable winter weather, with less snowfall.

Our hope is that this installation sparks conversations about climate change. Talking about it is the first and most essential step we can all take. We invite you to join us on this enlightening journey, where the lights serve as a beacon, guiding us toward a more sustainable future. Together, we can be active participants in shaping the climate narrative and ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come.


Ian Chalmers, RGD
Principal & Creative Director

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