“Small Trees, Big data: Augmented Reality Model of Air Quality Data via the Chinese Art of “Artificial” Tray Planting” by Prophet, Kow and Hurry

  • ©Jane Prophet, Yong Ming Kow, and Mark Hurry

  • ©Jane Prophet, Yong Ming Kow, and Mark Hurry


Entry Number: 16


    Small Trees, Big data: Augmented Reality Model of Air Quality Data via the Chinese Art of “Artificial” Tray Planting




    Our prototype app, Pocket Penjing, built using Unity3D, takes its name from the Chinese “Penjing.” These tray plantings of miniature trees pre-date bonsai, often including miniature benches or figures to allude to people’s relationship to the tree. App users choose a species, then create and name their tree. Swiping rotates a 3D globe showing flagged locations. Each flag represents a live online air quality monitoring station data stream that the app can scrape. Data is pulled in from the selected station and the AR window loads. The AR tree grows in real-time 3D. Its L-Systems form is determined by the selected live air quality data. We used this prototype as the basis of a two-part formative participatory design workshop with 63 participants. 


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