The London Design Museum Is Visualizing the Consequences of Climate Change

Thanks to a partnership with Snapchat, the institution enlists architect Mariam Issoufou Kamara to visualize the drastic effects of climate change through newly developed AR filters.

One of the challenges of the environmental movement’s plea for political leaders and consumers to take drastic action to prevent the worst effects of climate change has been the inability for some to visualize firsthand the dystopian consequences in the future. Thanks to London’s Design Museum, which rolled out a new augmented reality filter with Snapchat, we’re closer to witnessing the repercussions of climate inaction. 

For the inaugural Landmarker project, Snap enlisted architect Mariam Issoufou Kamara to reimagine the Design Museum’s grounds in harsh, apocalyptic conditions. Viewable through the app’s newly developed filter, the building responds in real time to inclement weather such as floods and blizzards. The structural materials also change from filter to filter, painting an optimistic picture of how architecture can adapt to the continuously changing demands of its environment. The project’s main goal, according to Kamara, is to challenge viewers to consider how buildings can increase resilience while adapting to extreme weather conditions.

“For an architect whose practice is in a desert country like Niger, the effects of the climate crisis are already all around us through increased droughts, floods, and climate refugees,” Kamara said in a statement. “This collaboration allowed me to explore a future where the climate has changed drastically—a new normal if you will.” It’s impossible to say if Landmarker will have any impact on behavior, but any measures intended to move the needle—even dystopian alternative realities—are a welcome intervention.

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