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ActuAir: Exploring Physicalizations of Air Quality at the Workplace

Lookup NU author(s): Lenia MargaritiORCiD, Professor Dave Kirk



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Research highlights the importance maintaining good air quality (AQ) (CO2:400-600 ppm) to support wellbeing at the workplace. Although AQ is generally monitored in office spaces, it is not always easy to manage e.g. during meetings. Remote work and the domestic workplace have additional complexities; AQ is often not monitored, and people are often unaware of the air quality levels. This project proposes an exploratory design solution to the above, through physicalizing changes in AQ levels through shape-changing silicon and fabric components. These components can be put together and be re-arranged by their users to form soft barriers in the domestic and office workplace. Each operates with a wireless Arduino connected to a local server fetching AQ data (CO2, temperature, humidity); enabling them to act as stand-alone or in coordination with other components. The result is a soft actuating barrier - a biomimetic envelope- which expands and contracts using air pumps and muscle wire based on AQ levels, providing a physicalization of data in place, raising awareness on air quality and supporting wellbeing at the workplace.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Margariti E, Kirk D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Actuated Materials and Soft Robotics Strategies for Human-Computer Interaction Design: Workshop on Soft Robotics for HCI (ACM CHI'22 Conference)

Year of Conference: 2022

Online publication date: 01/05/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 27/02/2023

Publisher: ACM