Dutch design team Studio Roosegaarde created a tower that sucks pollution right out of the air, creating a clean air zone even in the most polluted cities. The residues are then turned into high-end jewellery.
Air pollution is the bane of most big cities. In fact, it kills more than two million people every year. Smog has become a common occurrence in several metropolises, in particular in megacities such as Beijing.
Rotterdam-based Studio Roosegaarde challenges the idea that smog is simply a characteristic of big cities that should be dealt with. They raised funds on Kickstarter and created the Smog Free Tower, “the world’s largest smog vacuum cleaner”. The 7-metre-high futuristic structure sucks particles out of the air using static electricity. The result is a bubble of clean air around the tower, an oasis of clean air for city dwellers. The Smog Free Tower cleans 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour and, according to its creators, it only consumes as much energy as a water boiler (1400 Watts).
The polluting particles sucked by the Smog Free Tower do not simply vanish into thin air. The tower collects residues. Well, Daan Roosegaarde and his team considered this and they came up with a quirky idea: creating jewellery with the carbon residues. Studio Roosegaarde designed two high-end items, the Smog Free Ring and Smog Free Cufflinks. Each piece of jewellery is sized to contain the residues from 1000 cubic metres of polluted air.
The first Smog Free Tower was launched in Rotterdam in 2015 and in 2016, the project team went to Beijing to present their idea. By giving a purpose to the polluting particles removed from the air, Studio Roosegaarde creates a sustainable solution that also helps fund the Smog Free Towers. Head to Studio Roosegarde's website to learn more about the project.