Project de 'Microclimatic Heat Shelter'

The 'Microclimatic Heat Shelter' is an interactive art installation, where visitors can experience cooling in a mobile installation at different locations in the city of AthensThe purpose of the installation is to inspire / stimulate people take action to reduce the effects of climate change by changing their own personal environment.

The Microclimatic Heat Shelter art project is a special designed mobile space, which combines both traditional and innovative water and airflow techniques for cooling. The shape of the MHS is inspired by a sundial; during the day the shadow on the pavement can be drawn. Many visitors also associated the shape with a water drop.The space exists out of a frame covered with a double layer of sheep's wool and additional interior layer of cotton that is cooled by a sprinkler system (attached to a water reservoir), through which a cooling mist of water is produced. After a short and intensive construction period in September 2018 we finished in timeto deploy the Microclimatic Heat Shealter at six prominent locations Athens where it could be tested; Akadimias Street, Victoria station, Kypseli Square, Kotzia Square, Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Agion Asomaton square. The cooling of five degrees with respect to the outside and blue LED lighting in the interior space was experienced by visitors to be cool and relaxing. We have held interviews with them in which we asked how they experience the heat in Athens and how people cool themselves down on hot days.

Visitors were particularly enthusiastic about the distinctive choice of materials, they had predominantly positive memories at the smell of sheep wool and told special stories about the use of public space in their quest for coolness.

In 2017 we have been approached by Nayia Yiakoumaki Director of Research & International Networks via Stroom Den Haag to participate at the Athens Biennalein Greece (autumn 2018). We went to Athens for research to speak to specialists including climatologist Dr. Dimitra Foundavan of the National Observatory of Athens. She told that as due to climate change, the city of Athens is increasingly suffering from heat waves in the summer. LfM visited the 'Cool Rooms'-project; these are places for the elderly during hotdays to find company and cooling. The rooms are basic meeting spaces in a select number of community centers which are equipped with a simple air conditioning unit. This project inspired us to create a sustainable, more pleasant, mobile place for the citizens of Athens to provide a cool microclimate during these heat waves and can be deployed at various locations in the city.

The 'Microclimatic Heat Shelter' was the first art project presented by the biennial (due to still high temperatures this had to take place in September) which resulted in particular a great deal of attention from the public and the press.

The interviews are shown in the installation that is exhibited during the Athens Biennial, from 25 October 2018

Thanks to; Stimuleringsfonds v Creative industry, European Cultural Foundation, Stroom The Hague, Deerns engineering firm; Ing. Arjen Pleysier, ZJA Architects; Rein Jansma, Ing. Joost Suasso