Kengo Kuma just unveiled a spiraling, air-purifying sculpture that can absorb the emissions produced by 90,000 cars in a year. Kuma’s “Breath/ng” is made from a cutting-edge fabric with a nano-molecule activated core that separates and absorbs toxic molecules. Developed by Anemotech, this pollution-neutralizing material uses the natural flow of air to purify the surrounding environment.
Created from 120 hand-folded origami “Breath” panels (each 1.2 meters by 1.2 meters), Kuma’s spiraling work is about six meters tall. The installation’s 175 square meters of fabric are enough to absorb the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from around 90,000 cars per year. The spiral is suspended from a single carbon fiber rod and fixed in place by 46 unique 3D-printed joints, which were made with a HP Multi Jet Fusion printer.
The entire “Breath/ng” structure was developed using advanced Dassault Systèmes software and tools. In fact, the French company — a leader in the 3D design world — invited and inspired Kuma to explore the theme, “Design in the Age of Experience.” Along with Kuma’s spiral, Dassault Systèmes presented other ecological works by Daan Roosegaarde and Wesley Goatley e Superflux at Milan Design Week 2018.
The powerful aesthetics of Kuma’s air purifying installation offer a great zero-energy solution for contaminated cities. The installation boldly transforms the nearly-invisible problem of air pollution into a visible, tangible experience.
Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat