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The Smog Free Tower Is Heading to China

In the fall of 2016, Daan Roosegaarde and his team will tour five Chinese cities to spread the word on making them smog-free.


Smog Free Project (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Photo credits Studio Rotterdam

It's certainly no secret that China has been undergoing a building boom—80% of East Asia's urban growth between 2000 and 2010 happened in China alone, according to the World Bank. But with that growth comes pollution, so it's no doubt welcome news that Dutch artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde will be bringing his Smog Free Tower to the country.

China's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Studio Roosegaarde have together just launched The Smog Free Project China, which will see Roosegaarde and his team traveling to five Chinese cities. The project will begin in Beijing in fall 2016 before heading to four other major cities and will showcase Roosegarde's Smog Free Tower, piloted in a Rotterdam park last year, and Smog Free Jewelry, along with holding talks and activities so people can discuss and learn about smog-free solutions.


Smog Free Ring. Photo credits Studio Rotterdam

The Smog Free Tower is basically a huge air purifier: at 23' tall it's the largest of its kind in the world and uses patented ion technology, similar to what's used in hospitals, to filter the air around it and then pump it back out. The smog particles that are collected by the tower are compressed and used to create Smog Free Jewelry, rings and cufflinks—people can purchase the jewelry and it means they are effectively donating 1,000m3 of clean air, although it's more of a gesture than anything.

According to the press release, Rotterdam's Smog Free Tower cleans 30,000m3 per hour using no more green electricity than a waterboiler (1,400 watts). For the towers, Roosegarde took design inspiration from China's public park shrines. He says he wanted them to be a monument to combating smog.


Daan Roosegaarde with first collected smog particles (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Photo credits Studio Roosegaarde

“I believe we should do more, not less, and make modern cities liveable again," says Roosegaarde. "[The] Smog Free Project is the beginning of a journey to create solutions together towards smarter and brighter cities.”

This tour itself is intended to be a start in the right direction, along with educating people and providing them with the hope that these issues can be tackled through design and innovative ideas. "The Smog Free Project is not only intended to be a local solution for parks," runs the release, "but also an inspirational experience of a clean future. Along with governments, NGOs, pro-bicycle campaigns, and the clean-tech industry, people can work together to make a whole city smog-free."

You can learn more about the Smog Free Tower project in the video below.

For more information on this and other projects by the artist visit the Studio Roosegaarde website.

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