Climate Prisms

Climate Prisms: The Arctic is about bridging the distance between the physical world and scientific visualization through multiple approachable modalities pulled from both the world of art and the world of science. The original project was intended as a museum exhibition focused on climate science research conducted in the Arctic and featuring a large display screen driven by a touch interface designed for individual or small group viewing. Content paths were determined by an underlying system of tags, levels, content categories and related research areas. A screen showed a set of images. Each image could be accessed to provide image-specific information or could act as a launching pad for a new set of related content and images that allows the user to continue on their exploration journey. Each person created a unique path through hundreds of pieces of climate content. Embedded assessments logged basic demographics of each individual that interacted with the work. Each participant was able to plot their own path through the complex science, moving through the content at the pace and level of detail that best enabled them to engage with the material.

Immersive Exhibit

The project has grown with the Sculpting Vis collaborative to incorporate new tools and research directions. The ongoing focus of this project is physical + digital immersive spaces that allow visitors to interact with data, imagery, poetry, and both human and natural artifacts to draw connections within and between their everyday lives and the devastating effects of rapid climate change on the other side of the planet.

The images above and below show early experiments with interactive projection of visualizations and content from the original Climate Prisms project. Below, a video of data elements of a visualization of the Gulf of Mexico flow, back-projected onto shower curtains in a multi-use conference room in the UT Vis Lab. The team is interested in using low-cost materials to produce engaging and immersive experiences with climate data.


In partnership with [XX planetarium in Minnesota] and [XX planetarium in New Mexico], the Sculpting Vis collaborative is working to translate mult-modal interactive data visualizations and our Artifact-Based Rendering software for use in public planetariums and science museums around the country. The group seeks to engage diverse audiences in new and imaginative forms of interactive exploration of large, complex, and often inaccessible datasets in equally large and immersive spaces to increase broader impacts and to better understand how to break down the barrier between research and public-facing content.

Sculpting Visualizations © 2021