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Making the invisible visible. Using art to engage people in healthy urban development

Sardo, Margarida; Larbey, Ruth; Laggan, Sophie


Ruth Larbey

Sophie Laggan


“Shape our City” is a UWE Bristol creative engagement project working with researchers and Bristol-based citizens and organisations on understanding the city's priorities for achieving healthy urban development.

In this project we developed a range of artistic interventions, including a sculpture. We worked with British installation artist Luke Jerram to create Inhale, an eye-catching sculpture representing a diesel soot particle. The installation is three million times larger than the actual particle and aimed to draw people's attention to the health impacts of poorly designed cities. Inhale was first shown at the Festival of Nature and then in College Green for Clean Air Day (both locations in Bristol). The sculpture was donated to We The Curious, the local science centre, where is now on permanent display.

In this paper we explore how art can be used to engage people with issues such as healthy urban development and air pollution. We discuss how art can spur people into action or fill them with fear.


Sardo, M., Larbey, R., & Laggan, S. (2019, June). Making the invisible visible. Using art to engage people in healthy urban development. Presented at SciComm South West 2019, Bristol, United Kingdom

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name SciComm South West 2019
Conference Location Bristol, United Kingdom
Start Date Jun 21, 2019
End Date Jun 21, 2019
Acceptance Date Jun 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords engagement, art, science, air pollution, public engagement, science communication
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : SciComm South West 2019