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Environmentalism goes interactive

May 17, 2007

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An interactive art display created by a fourth-year class at SFU's School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT) will allow students at Surrey's Fraser Heights Secondary School to personally experience how their actions affect the environment.

The exhibit, Consume Now Think Later, was created for a SIAT course on immersive environment taught by Steve DiPaola at SFU's Surrey campus.

The exhibit will occupy four spaces. Three will be devoted to particular aspects of the environment — resource consumption, transportation and urban sprawl — while students in the main space will be able to see the effects generated in the other three spaces on a large-screen projector.

"Students in the main space will observe the positive or negative impact of the decisions their peers make in the other spaces," says Adda Torok, content manager for the student team, which calls itself Team Bluebox.

For example, students will have access to disposable cups in the resource consumption space. "The room will be equipped with juice dispensers and students will be encouraged to drink as much juice as they like," says Clarisse Gatchalian, one of the team leaders. "However, we will monitor how many cups the students are using and whether they are taking a new cup when going for seconds."

"Our planet's intricate ecosystems are greatly affected by our daily individual decisions," says Alex Cotoranu, manager for the marketing team. "The simple choice of throwing an empty can in the garbage or on the street, rather than in a recycling bin has a great impact on the way our environment changes."

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