Breathing Spaces: Educating Indoor Plant Carbon Absorption through Interaction




building performance, interaction art, indoor air quality, carbon absorption, climate change education


Climate change is a constant natural phenomenon. However, human activities over the last century have caused drastic changes well beyond its natural trajectory. Due to the unprecedented changes to the environment, rapid solutions to combat the consequences of climate change need to be implemented. Whatever strategy is adopted, education is key in order to achieve goals. Education interventions can be used to facilitate knowledge acquisition, skill development and build attitudes. Art-based education has become increasingly popular among educators, specifically in explaining scientific principles within a visualised environment using the latest technologies. Interior Design is a discipline that relies on visual thinking but lacks empirical work on using these developing technologies to capture student attention and transfer knowledge. This paper presents a study that explores digital art created to communicate the principle of using indoor plants as a means to purify air. The research is designed as a four-step action research project in which one cycle is completed. The results revealed that students were interested in the artwork, regardless of their level of prior knowledge of the subject.

Author Biographies

  • Niranjika Wijesooroya

    Niranjika Wijesooriya is an architect, she holds a BSc (BE), MSc (Archi) and  Mphil (Archi) from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. She is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Environmental Engineers in the UK. She is an Associated Professional at the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka. She was Senior Lecturer at the National School of Business Management, Sri Lanka and is currently undertaking her PhD in at the University of Sydney, Australia

  • Caitilin de Berigny, The University of Sydney

    Dr Caitilin de Bérigny is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Sydney. She is a member of the Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research group. 

    Caitilin is a member of the Sydney Environment Institute and currently working on an ARC grant with the Australian National Museum and Natural History Museum in New York. Caitilin is leading the Health & Creativity Node at the Charles Perkins Centre. 

    Caitilin has been awarded numerous grants, exhibited and published widely. Her artworks have been exhibited widely internationally. She has studied and worked internationally in France and the USA.


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