« BEL-AIR » a new air-filtering system using plants
The air quality indoors is worse than outdoors. Plastic used for our daily furniture production emits pollutants (benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene) whose levels are maximal during warm and humid periods.
Crucial for the health of the NASA’s astronauts, who stay in orbital station in a polymer-saturated environment, the American agency has set up an air purifying system by plants research program in the early 80’s. With « Bel-Air », this program is now completed and optimized by french designer Mathieu Lehanneur, together with the Harvard University scientist David Edwards, and ready for domestic use.« Bel-Air » is a mini mobile greenhouse that continuously inhales the space-polluted air that goes through tree natural filters: the plant leaves, its roots, and a humid bath before rejecting it purified. This patented principal has two advantages: « Bel-Air » is to the American and Asiatic common filters working appliances what Dyson is to regular vacuum cleaners. Here, the noxious particles are captured, and transformed inside the system. No more filters to change then, and no more clogs.
As for the aesthetic, « Bel-Air » breaks up the codes. The plant is unbolted from its ornamental statue and becomes a true object of service. As a vegetal brain enclosed in an aluminum and Pyrex cranial box, « Bel-Air » is the new cutting-edge of new objects/guardian angels that will soon protect us.Innovating form A to Z, “Bel-Air” can here and now be purchased as a prototype. The goal is to invite the buyers to become voluntary guinea pigs of the current test protocols in order to study and report to the conception team its behavior and condition of use. Accordingly, “Bel-Air” will improve at the maximum its performances before an effective production during 2009.
“Bel-air” will be presented at the MoMA (New York) in the exhibition “Design and the Elastic mind” starting next February.
“Design and the Elastic Mind”
Curator: Paola Antonelli
From February 24 through May 12, 2008
At the MoMA
1 West 53 Streets,
Between Fifth and Sixth avenues
New York, NY 10019-5497
“Bel-Air” (News about a Second Atmosphere)” is currently presented in Paris until January 14, 2008 at the Laboratoire, a new Parisian creation site initiating collaborations between artists, designers and scientists.
4 rue du Bouloi
Phone +331 780 949 50