Imagine Los Angeles without an orangey layer of haze or Beijing with crystal clear air; according to Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Tower is the first step to getting there. The Tower is basically a giant vacuum that behaves in much the way an air purifier does. His vision calls for these machines to be located throughout metropolitan areas basically scrubbing the air.
Currently on Kickstarter, Roosegaarde is looking to fund the 1st such Tower mainly through the sale of jewelry made from smog. Looking towards a world where there is no such thing as waste, Roosegaarde made the connection that most of the solid material in smog is carbon and, as such, is perfect for creating jewelry (think: diamonds). His company, Studio Roosegaarde, designed beautiful acrylic cubes of compressed smog. Through the campaign you can purchase the hauntingly attractive 8.4mm cube by itself or mounted to a ring or cufflinks. The smog in each cube is representative of the carbon content of 1,000m3 of air.
We love the concept of compact machines scrubbing manmade elements from the air. I think Roosegaarde is on the right path, but I think it would be even more beneficial if, instead of large machines placed around a city, the devices were smaller and could be mounted on thousands of rooftops. The real genius of the campaign, though, is the use of waste from the machine to fund new machines. There is something beautiful in the cyclical nature of that. Hopefully, with Roosegaarde being a designer, he does not get bored with the concept and continues to see it though!