The project ‘Sensing CO2’ provides room for experimentation, to start a new body of work by Leanne Wijnsma, that will tap into human senses.

Scientists continuously warn against the destructive impact of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Yet, the rising numbers and their impact are hard to grasp as the change is continuous. To become resilient, an understanding of the matter is crucial. The project Sensing CO2 aims to make tangible the changing levels of CO2 measurement.

CO2 is an odorless gas and invisible to the human eye. However, in some exceptions, the gas is visible and tangible. Sensing CO2 aims to connect abstract numbers with direct experience, scientific data with human senses. Sensing Co2 will let your tastebuds experience how our behaviour influences CO2 levels by inviting you to taste possible futures.

About Leanne Wijnsma:

Leanne Wijnsma is an artist/ designer researching and building experiences for the senses. In her work she reflects on the human condition and the relationship between mankind and earth. She received a BA in Graphic Design from the Utrecht School of the Arts and a Masters in Visual Strategies from the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam. She received various nominations, awards and grants for her work “Smell of Data” and works under the label

“We should think of ways to make the internet, and technology in general, more instinctive.”

– Leanne Wijnsma



Since 1959, the Keeling curve has been measuring carbon dioxide concentration levels in the atmosphere. Since the beginning, the curve showed seasonal cycles due to natural phenomena such as plant growth in spring and death in the fall. However, the levels have been steadily increasing over the years due to the use of fossil fuels. Since 2013 we are living in a world with over 400 parts per million parts of CO2 in our atmosphere. This is the highest concentration in human history, and it is increasing. Currently, the record shows 415 ppm.

This man inflicted rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is problematic for many reasons. It directly influences our weather patterns resulting in many undesirable outcomes such as extreme weather, biodiversity loss, global warming, sea level rising and more.

However, there is also another negative consequence which has received far less attention over the last few years but is bound to become a major problem in the 21st century: the direct effect of excessive CO2 concentrations on human cognitive ability. We are literally pumping a gas into the atmosphere which negatively influences human brain activity.

As In4Art, we focus our efforts on supporting art driven solutions that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this project we see strong links with SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG 13- Climate Action

Additionally, we support technologies in the domain of biotech, materials for a sustainable future and next generation internet. This project shows clear links with all domains. It focusses on a natural gas which is influencing our natural world excessively due to human interference and investigates the possibilities of technology, data transmission and the power of human senses to propose new paths to progress and solve this problem.

Taking the exploration of new paths to progress as an artistic point of entry, with this project we will tap into the responsbile innovation drivers improving safety and increasing transparency.

Lastly, the topic and the focus on CO2 has a variety of interesting connected developments.