Living in a 400ppm world
Carbon dioxide levels recently hit an all-time high of 400 parts per million (ppm) with scientists claiming that it’s likely to stay that way and possibly even jump up to 410ppm in years to come. To put into perspective the direness of this news, it’s been said that the last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the air humans did not exist…But you don’t have to start your doomsday prep just yet as there seems to be hope for us in managing this global dilemma.
Air to Jewellery
Forget about making lemonade out of lemons, when life gives you smog make diamonds. Created by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Tower landed in the heavily polluted city of Beijing after a pilot in Rotterdam.
Essentially the tower acts as a gigantic air purifier, cleaning the air and compressing the carbon particles collected under high pressure causing them to crystallize forming “diamonds”. As a designer, Daan’s inspiration stemmed from his passion to create something out of waste and hopes to make use of the collections from sales of these diamonds to develop and build more towers.
The Photosynthesis Bike
Combining the functions of a plant and a bicycle might seem absurd but the result is oddly inspired in the bid to combat air pollution. Currently still a little fuzzy around the edges and lacking a prototype, Bangkok based firm Lightfog Creative and Design has teased the world with their idea of a bicycle that is able to purify the air and generate oxygen through a system akin to photosynthesis present in plants which will have us pedalling into a cleaner environment.
It’s become common practice to don a face mask in the attempt to protect ourselves from pollution but aside from leaving us looking like faceless zombies are they really doing their job? Thanks to Parisian Caroline van Renterghem founder of Wair, you can now have clean air and enhance your ensemble at the same time with an air purifying scarf. After a particularly polluted ride to work one morning, she was inspired to create a stylish and more comfortable alternative to the usual emission masks available. With varying styles and colors that cater to men and women, the Wair scarf fits snugly without irritating the skin and comes with an anti-pollution device that monitors ambient air plus a phone app that alerts you of air quality. Still a prototype at the moment, the scarf is expected to be launched in summer 2017.
The Air Culture Lab is a novel idea coined by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Sarah Daher that harnesses airborne molecules released by plants to create pockets of “personalised air".
Besides being visually pleasing, the process makes use of a carefully calibrated system of changing light, temperature and air pumps to encourage plants to release specific compounds into a glass chamber. Sarah hopes to tailor bags of “clean” air from the distinct compounds of various plant species to cater to different health issues and eventually produce sharable capsules for everyone to use.