Interactive Digital Installation
DOTDOT conceptualised, designed and built an immersive installation about climate change for the new long-term Te Taiao Nature zone at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa). Climate Converter gives visitors a safe space to explore the issues facing New Zealand and understand the factors that we can take, both collectively and individually, to mitigate change.
The Climate Converter is an immersive space, with four walls and floor all projection-mapped in a mesmerizing ‘New Zealand-esque’ environment in the delicate style of paper – from city skyline to forest floor all cycling through extreme weather events made increasingly familiar by the growing impact of climate change. The whole space is responsive to movement and the elements move, fold and unfold like origami. As visitors walk into the space, native ferns on the floor part and make way for them. If they pause and stand still, a curious origami kiwi comes to peck around their ankles.
There are two key ways for users to create impact within the space:
1. Visitors can interact with features on the walls by raising a hand and touching an object to trigger eco-friendly actions at a broad, societal level. For example, touching petrol cars to turn them into electric vehicles. If visitors collectively make enough positive change they see a ‘Success!’ message appear – they’ve achieved a carbon neutral New Zealand. If not, they’ll begin to see representations of how weather patterns will affect the environment, such as storms or drought.
2. Visitors can interact with plinth-based touch screens to make a personal pledge – one simple real-world action to fight climate change. Visitors watch as their pledge transforms into an origami kererū that flies into the environment, joining the other visitor pledges. Visitors can also choose to receive an email to support them to fulfill their specific pledge as a post-experience follow up.
Climate Converter launched in May 2019. It is expected to last 10 years and has already had more than 1 million visitors. The impact is being captured using an audience impact model which shows the majority of visitors are learning something new and 16% are leaving inspired to make a change to protect the environment (high for a museum exhibit), our ultimate goal. The installation has been a catalyst in the media for public debate around agriculture, which is a significant economic driver for New Zealand’s economy.