Horizon Blog

Home:Zero Inspiring Children as Drivers for Change – An Introduction

HOME: Zero immersive mixed reality installation aims to kickstart a family conversation about home emissions and their impact on climate change.  Horizon’s ‘Inspiring Children as Drivers for Change’ project is a collaboration between a theatre designer, writer/dramaturg, volunteer families and mixed reality specialists. Our work seeks to empower children who engage with the installation, to foster agency through their behavioural change, and encourage hope for the future.

The project introduces the HOME:Zero mixed reality (MR) installation as a catalyst to stimulate conversations about the role of immersive installation for creating awareness of building a green future. This unique installation uses digital media and a selection of National Gallery paintings to bring real-world issues about sustainability to the forefront of the visitors’ mind, encouraging them to think about their actions and solutions for a sustainable home.

Dr Roma Patel is leading the project.  She has demonstrable research experience working with children and families which were a focus during her PhD (completed at Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)), and has continued as a driver for the work of her company – Makers of Imaginary Worlds. The project involves participant observation, surveys and unstructured interviews to capture the audiences’ experience of, and their response to, the Home:Zero installation.

Developed between February and May 2022, with initial funding from NESTA and the National Gallery, Home:Zero  was tested at NGX in London (19-21 May) and premiered to the public between 26 and 30 May at Lakeside Arts.  The Lakeside experience resulted in interest from Strelley Library in Nottingham, who invited us to exhibit HOME:Zero between 27 July and 2 August 2022.  The library experience proved invaluable, attracting 150 visitors and enabling us to reach a different audience.  We are now extending HOME:Zero to wider audiences in other areas of Nottinghamshire, to encourage and collate a range of diverse perspectives.

We are keen to extend the reach into local communities by touring the installation to more venues and/or community-based festivals in school half-term periods, thereby engaging with non-traditional arts attenders and bringing their voices/perspectives into the dialogue.

In February half-term 2023, from Saturday 11 to Saturday 18 February, Home:Zero will open to families with children aged 6-10 years at Mansfield Museum as part of the Festival of Science and Curiosity (FoSaC) and will be inviting schools visits between 7 and 10 February.  Admission is free, however with a maximum of 6 per 25-minute visit, we advise booking your slot via Eventbrite in advance.


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