Arcadia Earth illustrates just how dire the climate crisis is—then helps visitors make an impact with actionable tips and curated products

Engaging with climate change is difficult. The problem feels too big, the solutions too small. But the conversation doesn't have to be all doom and gloom—thanks to a pop-up called Arcadia Earth, stunning beauty and vital information go hand-in-hand to create a tech-infused art experience that's as sobering as it is breathtaking.

Arcadia Earth, located in Manhattan's Noho neighborhood, is an art-filled, AR-enhanced space that sprawls across two floors and 15,000 square feet, each room designed to spark conversation about the climate crisis. Experiential artist Valentino Vettori founded and designed Arcadia Earth, enlisting the help of 12 other environmental artists to illustrate the beauty of nature and the importance of action.

Arcadia Earth

Visitors are first greeted by a store that's stocked with environmentally-friendly products, like refillable deodorant and wool dryer balls. The tour begins and ends in this space, which is covered in thousands of library book pages that look like a beehive.

Before entering the ticketed exhibition, each visitor receives an iPad, which guides them along their route. In each room, scannable badges unlock AR activations like stingrays, clouds of microplastics and single-use garbage. Each of the 15 rooms has a distinct theme and activation, employing techniques like projection, sculpture, sound and even virtual reality.

Perhaps the most stunning room is a cave filled with 44,000 recycled plastic bags, by Brooklyn-based artist Basia Goszczynska. (That's the number of bags used every minute in New York state.) Even more miraculous is that the bags were never even used—a factory misprinted them and they were immediately thrown away.

Arcadia Earth

There's a stunner in each room, whether it's an infinity mirror, a moving sculpture or a projection-mapped coral reef. While the information inside the exhibit is dire, each problem comes with suggested actions that can at least help. At the end of the sprawling space, visitors emerge into the store, newly aware of the importance of the products inside it.

Arcadia Earth is a winning combination of art, technology and retail. Rather than distract people from the climate crisis, it forces them to face it head-on, confronting both their individual choices and larger, societal trends. The exhibition works incredibly well, leaving visitors ready to work for a better future.

Arcadia Earth

Arcadia Earth


Lead image: Arcadia Earth

Engaging with climate change is difficult. The problem feels too big, the solutions too small. But the conversation doesn't have to be all doom and gloom—thanks to a pop-up called Arcadia Earth, stunning beauty and vital information go hand-in-hand to create a tech-infused art experience that's as sobering as it is breathtaking.

Arcadia Earth, located in Manhattan's Noho neighborhood, is an art-filled, AR-enhanced space that sprawls across two floors and 15,000 square feet, each room designed to spark conversation about the climate crisis. Experiential artist Valentino Vettori founded and designed Arcadia Earth, enlisting the help of 12 other environmental artists to illustrate the beauty of nature and the importance of action.