The mural’s narrative utilized thermal painting by differentiating the temperatures to their subject matter. Regular mural paint covered the heat island figure and its environment. The solar reflective paint coated the sustainable city form.
Through a thermal infrared camera, the viewer can see the colors of the cooling temperatures on subjects that lower the heat island effect. Factors that heat an urban area are warmer on the mural surface. Incorporating the painting’s narrative and temperature allows the viewer to determine what factors can cool and heat urban spaces.
I communicated the urban heat island effect by painting two worlds personified as figures. The two figures are contrasting, but their limbs interlock in a pulsing configuration representing the complex and chaotic ecological systems of humans and the environment.
The red figure personifies an urban heat island. The figure is sweating and is in pain from absorbed heat. The surrounding environment of the urban heat island figure displays concrete infrastructure, asphalted roads, and empty vegetation.
The blue figure resembles a city modeled on sustainable foundations with extensive forest coverage, wildlife, and infrastructure rooted on garden roofs surrounding the personification of the ideal sustainable city. The figures’ temperature is cooled, and their posture is mostly at rest. However, their pulsing limbs interlock the heat island as a metaphor that the environmental system is complex and may change over time.