The Citizen Sense “Dustbox” was developed in the course of the practice-based research on “Urban Sensing” in Deptford and surrounding neighborhoods in South London from 2016-2017.

The Dustbox kit includes a Shinyei sensor for detecting particulate matter, as well as an Electric Imp for WiFi connectivity, and a printed circuit board developed in collaboration with Adrian McEwen of MCQN Ltd.

The Dustbox shape is based on the visualization and magnification of particles when viewed through an electron microscope. The particle shapes refer to pollen and carbon (coated with heavy metals). The Dustbox particle shapes were developed into 3D-printable format in collaboration with materials designer Francesca Perona, and were printed in matte black ceramic.

The Dustbox kit includes a “logbook” with instructions for using the device, as well as suggestions for monitoring and recording observations such as noise, smell and other environmental changes along with the sensor data collection. The logbook was designed by Sarah Garcin in collaboration with Citizen Sense.

The Dustboxes will be in use in Deptford and surrounding neighborhoods from 29 October 2016 to April 2017. The devices are available for free loan from the library at the Deptford Lounge.

The real-time data from the Dustboxes were streamed to our Dustbox Data Streams platform, where the “raw” particle count data (as a percentage) and “converted” data (as PM2.5 µ/m3) were available to view. We undertook calibration in relation to monitoring sites and as an ongoing process, along with testing the Dustboxes in relation to reference monitors in the London Air Quality Network (LAQN ) at the Marylebone Air Quality Observatory.

It is also possible to analyze the Dustbox data through our Airsift Dustbox data analysis toolkit.

The Airsift data analysis toolkit was originally developed as part of our “Pollution Sensing” research. More information and instructions on how to use the Airsift toolkit, including how to generate and read plots and graphs, can be found through our kit resources.

Both the Dustbox Data Streams platform and the Airsift Dustbox data analysis toolkit were developed in collaboration with web designer and developer, Lau Thiam Kok.

For an example of how to assemble plots and graphs to demonstrate evidence of air pollution problems, see our “Data Stories.”

For more information or questions about the Dustbox, contact us.

© 2020 Citizen Sense. All Rights Reserved.