Series of artworks produced to help visualise the future of energy

Smart Lens aims to demystify rapidly developing digital technologies through illustrations, improving understanding and promoting discussion on  power generation and consumption. 

Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed the visual series with a focus on improving knowledge of energy systems among households, community organisations, and in educational settings. 

Using funding from Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the team – comprising academics in both social and computer sciences – have developed the Smart Lens project, a series of illustrative explainers giving an insight into what certain terminologies and technologies actually mean. The intention is to catalyse conversations around issues including low carbon neighbourhoods, street-level microgrids, retrofitting, smart battery rental, trading in energy, smart meters and more.

‘To influence and shape our energy use we all need to become fluent in the language of emerging technologies,’ said Research Associate at the University of Bristol’s Computer Science Department Dr Ola Michalec. ‘Digital technologies are tough to visualise and describe. Our project aims to help everyone contribute to the big debate about how we source and use energy in the future.  I really want our images, created by local artist Oliver Dean to be shared and discussed so they are free to anyone to access.’

In related news, UK climate change charity Ashden has warned that climate targets set out in the latest IPCC report may be impossible to meet without significant investment in training and green skills. 

Image credit: Oliver Dean



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