In the Air has been developed during Visualizar’08 workshop at theMedialab-Prado between 03-18 November 2008, curated by José Luis de Vicente.

The production of the workshop has been understood as an experiment involving:

  • Team – The human knowledge and expertise of the team has determined the degree of development, content and form of the prototypes
  • Content – Exploring databases have allowed us to identify the emergence of patterns. Visualization has therefore been a tool for an inductive construction of knowledge
  • Visualization Techniques – The aim has been to explore emergent patterns through two different media, one physical and one digital, in order to compare the communicative capacities of each.


In the Air is a visualization project which aims to make visible the microscopic and invisible agents of Madrid´s air (gases, particles, pollen, diseases, etc), to see how they perform, react and interact with the rest of the city.

The visualization tool is a web-based dynamic model which builds up the space the components generate, where through data crossing behavior patterns emerge. The results of these data feed a physical prototype of what we have called a “diffuse façade”, a massive indicator of the air´s components through a changing cloud, blurring architecture with the atmosphere it has invaded and mediating the activity of the participants it envelops.

Project goals

The project proposes a platform for individual and collective awareness and decision making, where the interpretation of results can be used for real time navigation through the city, opportunistic selection of locations according to their air conditions and a base for political action.


In the Air has been displayed in different venues. Please check our blog for news.

InThe Air2digital prototype

The research has revolved around the following issues:

  • Interpolation and the relationship between known data and visualization strategies
  • Definition of visualization unit. Particles, mesh, spheres, lines, points
  • Interaction with the user – the user as a visualizing agent
  • Web interface – narrative, scientific or political?

InThe Air3

Process – physical prototype

In developing the physical prototype the research has revolved around the following issues:

  • Selection of material. Smoke, water
  • Selection of equipment – power and flow of pumps
  • Selection of colouring agent – colourant, light
  • Definition of informational structures

As the whole workshop has been therefore a process of research and testing, here we present all the options which have been explored in order to build up a collective knowledge and to position In the Air as a new link in the chain of atmospheric visualization projects.

 *[InTheAir. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2016, from


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