Design Academy Eindhoven alumni, Sarah Daher, has created the Air Culture Lab, an innovative project that harnesses airborne molecules released by plants in order to create "pockets of personalised air". Daher's design uses a complex system of changing light, temperature, humidity and water to encourage plants to release specific compounds into a glass chamber. The result is plant-produced healthy air that could provide personalized health benefits to users.
The Air Culture lab uses both a water pump and an air pump to control the conditions surrounding the flora inside the glass plant chamber. Once the desired amount of air is harvested, it can be siphoned off into bags.
Daher explained to Dezeen that the basic idea behind the conceptual design is to utilize specific plant compounds to improve distinct health conditions through air consumption, “Air Culture is an interdisciplinary project in between design and science; technology and nature. It is a starting point to question the value of air, and propose a more amplified vision of plants in a future scenario where their volatile emissions become part of our daily lives.”
“While researching those compounds I found out that most of them have high pharmaceutical value due to their chemical properties and an impact on our health,” said Daher. “We usually harvest the plants to extract those compounds.”
“Plants will start to synthesise those compounds under specific circumstances as a response to environmental stimuli,” she added. “If the environment changes, plants’ chemistry will also change.”
Daher explains that Air Culture’s harvested air could potentially be “enriched” with distinct chemicals from various plant species in order to improve someone’s health, either physically and psychologically.
Although the initial design sees the manufactured air stored in bags, Daher has also conceptualized sharable capsules as part of the air consumption system. The capsules would be opened by “air cutlery” and inhaled by the user, “In the future we will taste and experience air the same way we already do with food and drinks.”
The Air Culture lab was on display at Design Academy Eindhoven as part of last month’s Dutch Design Week 2015. Although it’s still a conceptual project, Daher hopes to display the lab in public spaces and around buildings where using the plant-technology system could enhance people’s wellbeing.
Lead photo by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat