We are always on the lookout for products and materials that improve indoor environmental quality, because the reality is that many interior spaces are just plain unhealthy. This charming concept from Mathieu Lehanneur is an interesting take on how to improve indoor air quality with living plants. Since plants naturally filter the air, why not utilize what plants do best with a little help from technology? The Bel-Air living air filter is a mini greenhouse which takes in polluted air and holds it in a humid, plant-filled capsule that filters out contaminants. When released, the air is purified! The Bel-Air builds on research from NASA soon after the first space flights. Astronauts returning from long trips inside capsules made of plastics, fiberglass, and fire retardants were found to have high levels of volatile organic compounds in their bodies. Not surprising and not unlike the environments found inside many Earth-bound buildings.
The findings prompted NASA to research “space gardens” – flora that could be used on space flights to help keep recirculated air healthy. NASA found that the most effective plants include gerbera, philodendron, spathiophyllum, pathos, and chlorophytum.
Lehanneur’s concept is a free-standing, mobile container version of NASA’s space gardens, but intended for life indoors on this planet.
We’ve seen living air-filters before (like Natalie Jeremijenko’s Plant Lamp), but we love the cute retro-futuristic pod like stylings of the Bel-Air.