Home Inspirational Elevating Microplastic Air pollution Consciousness Via Artwork, with Particular Visitor Yidian Liu

Elevating Microplastic Air pollution Consciousness Via Artwork, with Particular Visitor Yidian Liu

Elevating Microplastic Air pollution Consciousness Via Artwork, with Particular Visitor Yidian Liu


Final Up to date on August 14, 2023

In the case of sweeping worldwide environmental and public well being issues, it may be troublesome to take these issues to coronary heart. It’s laborious to think about a tangible instance of those sorts of issues. 

That hole between information of an issue and an understanding of its real-world results is a detriment to particular person and organizational activism efforts. 

In different phrases, figuring out what we’re up towards is the 1st step to altering issues for the higher, and within the case of microplastic air pollution, it’s particularly difficult for instance simply how severe the issue is. 

Scientists don’t at the moment have a complete understanding of how microplastics have an effect on people who devour them, and that’s an actual downside since microplastics are current in water programs all through the world, together with water programs right here in the USA. 

These extremely small plastic particles are derived from every kind of plastic merchandise, and since they’re so small, they’ll escape from widespread water remedy and filtration strategies. 

PolyGone Methods, Inc. has change into an early chief within the microplastic filtering house, and so they lately collaborated on an evocative artwork set up that was displayed as a part of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-Metropolis Biennale of urbanism/Structure, and we talked with PolyGone Co-Founder and COO all about it. 

Yidian Liu and her fellow founder Nathaniel Banks rapidly went from being college students with a shiny thought to figures on the forefront of microplastic filtering expertise. 

With a shared experience of structure and design, Liu and Banks created PolyGone Methods particularly to deal with the issue of growing sensible microplastic filtering strategies. 

To make an extended story brief, this firm has created and iterated on a specially-designed filter that is ready to entice microplastics inside flowing water, and so they have been conducting area assessments of this filter in tandem with water remedy organizations. 

The artwork set up we’re right here to cowl is finally about supporting public training relating to a severe matter that many individuals are nonetheless unaware of. 

Development of the Set up

The set up 

First, let’s set the stage. The Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale showcases the work of designers who’ve utilized themselves to modern and future designs meant to resolve city and city-planning points. 

The occasion brings in tons of of hundreds of individuals, so for a corporation like PolyGone Methods, the occasion is an enormous alternative to coach individuals about simply how widespread microplastic air pollution is. 

Extra particularly, PolyGone was concerned in a portion of the occasion that emphasised interdisciplinary collaboration, giving the crew an opportunity to make use of visible artwork to sort out this very massive downside. 

To make this mission a actuality, Liu and Banks determined to accomplice with analysis affiliate and fellow Princeton alum Xi Chen, who the truth is helped to design the unique PolyGone filter prototype. 

With greater than sufficient information and dedication, the query grew to become how you can make all of it occur. How do you talk the seriousness of this downside by artwork? Liu describes the rationale. 

“Our set up tackled the city concern of microplastic air pollution within the water by making the issue extra seen to the general public. Our proposal resembles a dangling chandelier with contaminated filter media, a sequence of concentric curtains, and a heavy base. The set up makes use of structure as a studying device to delineate the disparity between the minute scale of plastic pollution and the massive areas of contamination whereas showcasing the totally different strategies of aquatic plastic filtration and recycling.” 

PolyGone used exactly 888 beforehand used filters to create this chandelier, and since the filters had captured microplastics, they confirmed this contamination when uncovered to UV gentle. 

To the bare eye, now with this set up, the microplastics would resemble stars shining at nighttime sky at evening. We designed an enclosed darkish house that emphasised this impact, which allowed the viewers to look at the usually invisible microplastic particles.” 

On this approach, the set up actually elevated the visibility of the microplastic downside– an excellent tactic for speaking a dire want for change. 

However placing this all collectively was no small job. It required time and intensive collaboration. 

The set up at Shenzhen Biennale

Meeting and collaboration 

“Though our crew got here out with the idea design, discovering native collaborators to help the execution of the mission was an actual problem.”

For instance, the mission required custom-built frames that would assist these tons of of filters, and since Liu and Banks have been within the U.S. whereas this development work was taking place, they wanted to name in some reinforcements. 

“Fortunately, we have been in a position to join with an inside design workplace referred to as Intact Studio, who’re architects skilled in executing initiatives and have an enormous community of native collaborators.”

The crew additionally enlisted the assistance of Shenzhen College college students who aided within the advanced course of of truly assembling and hanging your entire system.  

All this laborious work caused an efficient, inventive, and wholly distinctive method to growing consciousness of microplastic air pollution. 

The show of microplastics as neon particles on the filter

Native + Worldwide 

Microplastic air pollution is clearly a world concern, affecting not simply freshwater sources but additionally the world’s oceans. 

And but there was a transparent connection between this show and town of Shenzhen particularly, including a neighborhood element to the show. 

Shenzhen, located in a bay space the place quite a few waterways converge earlier than getting into the ocean, has witnessed substantial investments aimed toward rejuvenating its waterfront and restoring the well being of its water our bodies. This makes Shenzhen a super location to boost consciousness concerning the criticality of addressing plastic air pollution and to coach people concerning the significance of remediation efforts.” 

So, whereas this artwork piece was particularly related to the quick location of the occasion, it additionally appealed to the common nature of this downside. 

On the native degree, governments, organizations, and people must take steps to maintain their  close by water sources clear, and on the worldwide degree, these smaller, localized efforts must collaborate and share findings and concepts, simply because the creation of the PolyGone artwork set up was the results of intensive collaboration, all in pursuit of a singular purpose. 

Co-Founder, Yidian Liu, on the panel at Shenzhen Biennale

Furthering public training 

We want to shut out this text by discussing public training relating to microplastic air pollution. 

First, can artwork be used to successfully elevate consciousness of the problem? Sure, it may well, and the Shenzhen Biennale is proof of that. The truth is, PolyGone has plans to stage one other instructional set up in Atlantic Metropolis, the place the set up will accompany a pilot program of their microplastic filters. 


“The technique right here is to showcase Polygone’s microplastic filtration system, often known as the Synthetic Root, alongside the ACUA’s current water remedy operations. This pilot deployment goals to enrich the ACUA’s present facility and successfully seize aquatic pollution and microplastic particles throughout the wastewater that flows by ACUA’s foremost pipeline.” 

It is a utterly totally different set up custom-tailored to the placement. However we additionally don’t need to indicate that some of these installations are the be-all and end-all of public training.  

Yidian Liu Presenting the installation

Concerning PolyGone’s different public training efforts, the corporate has discovered public talking engagements to be extremely helpful. 

Liu and Banks have spoken at Princeton College and on the Delaware Water Congress, and so they have additionally hosted panel discussions on the subject. 

Importantly, PolyGone, and Liu specifically, actually imagine that public training efforts ought to attempt to encourage others to become involved in fixing the problem. It’s not about presenting one particular kind of answer and leaving it at that. 

Whereas microplastic air pollution cures are at the moment being developed, examined, and deployed in the true world by PolyGone and different main teams, it is a actually monumental downside that may doubtless take a few years to resolve. 

Many different facets of environmental well being and public security are well-known and have been for years, however the discovery and understanding of the presence and issues of microplastic air pollution are nonetheless comparatively new, and as we’ve mentioned all through the article, there’s nonetheless a normal lack of know-how, each amongst scientists and most of the people. 

This must be a cross-generational effort, and Liu emphasised the necessity to inspire youthful individuals specifically to take up the reins and proceed working towards a cleaner and safer world. 

“We goal to encourage the subsequent era to hold ahead our efforts in remedying this concern. Fairly than seeing ourselves as the last word answer suppliers, we view ourselves as pioneers who provoke change and encourage future generations.”  

Our hope is that every one sorts of public training efforts relating to microplastic air pollution will show to be efficient for quite a lot of communities and audiences. 

There are totally different technique of addressing and connecting with totally different communities, and particularly for microplastic cleansing organizations like PolyGone and a spread of presidency businesses, it’s important that they achieve inspiring change.  



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