Breath/ng sculpture absorbs air pollution

September 1st, 2018 / By: / Projects

The intricate folds of the 20-foot-tall Breath/ng sculpture bring to mind the ancient Japanese art of origami, blended with state-of-the-art technology. Photos: Luke Hayes.

Milan Design Week is the ultimate destination in the world of design. The city is transformed into a showcase for hundreds of artists, designers and brands to present their creative best. For this year’s show held in April, the organizers challenged the industry to incorporate innovation and sustainability into their offerings.

Acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma met the task with a most intriguing design. His sculpture, Breath/ng, has the ability to absorb pollution. In fact, it can absorb as much as the emissions of 90,000 cars per year.

Kuma’s design features 120 hand-folded fabric panels that create large, extravagant spirals. The panels are made of a unique fabric called The Breath®, the brainchild of Italian start-up Anemotech, a company founded to develop products for environmental protection. The Breath employs a simple system using natural airflow, indoors or out, to neutralize pollutants. As air passes through the mesh fabric, a nano-molecule activated center traps and disaggregates pollutants. Cleaner, more breathable air then continues in its natural cycle.

Kuma relied on Dassault Systèmes, developer of 3-D virtual universes that imagine sustainable innovation, to create the art piece using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE lab software. Breath/ng was installed on a single carbon fiber rod and fixed in place with 46 3D-printed joints created on an HP multi-jet fusion printer. For more information, visit www.kkaa.co.jp.

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