To Clear The Air

China is one of the most polluted countries in the world. There is consistent, dangerous amount of poisonous or carcinogenic pollutants in the air around Beijing on a regular basis, leading to an almost constant smog problem. In certain parts of China, air-filtration masks are so common they have become fashion statements. Air pollution is the fourth-leading cause of death in China, leading to 1.2 million premature deaths.

To combat this problem, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde wants to use an “electronic vacuum” to help clear the air somewhat. The concept involves burying copper wire under the grass at a city park, which will drag the smog particles to the ground, where they will be compressed and removed. This will be only a small measure, clearing a 22,500 square-foot hole in the smog that would open up over the park.

“This won’t be the real answer for smog, the real answer is different industry,” Roosegaarde said in an interview with “I think it’s a very radical statement of what could be.”

Roosegaarde was inspired to create this technology after an experience he had in the city. “I realized that day one I could see the skyscrapers, and day two I couldn’t.” Roosegaarde doesn’t consider project to be a real solution, but rather he wants to draw attention to the problem and focus thought on long-term large scale solutions.

What Sparks Our Fire: A creative call-to-action to a dangerous problem.

Do you think this will spark change in China?

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