— Studio Roosegaarde (@SRoosegaarde) September 29, 2016
According to the press release, at 7 meters in height, the Smog Free Tower is the largest air purifier in the world — and it’s mobile! Meaning that it can help to clean up other cities if it ever runs out of smog to eat in Beijing. Reuters reports that the tower sucks in 75% of the particles in the nearby air that are dangerous to humans, and then spits back out clean air into the surrounding space. For a more detailed explanation, watch this video:
So, where do all those captured smog particles go? Well, the tower compresses the carbon particles, which are then turned into diamond cubes to adorn Smog Free Rings, Cubes and Cufflinks. By buying one ring, consumers are effectively donating 1,000 cubic meters of clean air to the city. The money from the jewelry will be funneled back into developing and building more towers.
The tower is part of Roosegaarde’s larger project, “Landscapes of the Future,” which aims to integrate technology, space, and design in improving the quality of daily urban life. Roosegaarde and his team hope that governments, NGOs, pro-bicycle campaigns, and the clean-tech industry can collaborate to fight air pollution so that Smog Free Towers eventually will become unnecessary.
Beijing is a prime location for a Smog Free Tower. The capital city is decidedly not smog free. Instead, it’s infamous for its noxious air, and was home to two red alerts for smog last year. On Sunday, Beijing was already forced to issue its first yellow alert of the second half of this year. Late Monday night, rain and cold weather stepped in to help the tower clear the skies.
The tower is just the latest in a long line of inventions, ideas and innovations inspired by China’s deadly problems with air pollution. Domestic and international entrepreneurs have begun selling clean air to Chinese consumers by the can, while artists have started making paint and bricks out of the dangerous smog particles.
Of course, it’s far too early to judge whether the Smog Free Tower is the solution that choking Chinese city dwellers have been waiting for, but it’s certainly better than waiting around for our nose hair to grow.
By Abby Ordillas
[Images via Studio Roosegaarde]