Smog Free Tower Makes Its Bejeweled Debut in the Netherlands

It's like a hybrid of a flea market and a wind farm.

A Dutch designer has invented and launched a massive air purifier that is supposed to clean the air in urban parks. The prototype debuted in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, late last week. This massive installation is based on commercial air filtration technology used in hospitals according to designer Daan Roosegaarde. But there’s a wrinkle: The tower turns the particles sucked out of the air into jewelry.

“On one hand we’re sort of disgusted by it,” Roosegarde says in his (of course) Kickstarter video. “But on the other hand became fascinated. Like, this is not waste, you know, because waste in the future should not exist. And looking at this, and realizing that 42 percent of this exists out of carbon, and carbon, under high pressure, you get diamonds.”

This is what a pollution "diamond" looks like.

Well, the jewelry they are producing is a little bit short of diamonds. It’s actually just compressed black pollution encased in a transparent cube. If you ask me they should have enlisted the help of some jewelry designers to get the details right. Not my style, but if you like it there’s still time to order your pollution ring or cufflinks for €250 off Kickstarter. Each contains the amount of pollution pulled from 1,300 cubic yards of air, apparently.

Put a ring on it.

The hope is to take the smog-free-tower show on the road to places like Beijing, Mexico City, Paris and Los Angeles.

You may remember Roosegaarde from other viral design ideas like interactive highways that light up at night, warn you of icy conditions and even charge your electric car. He also built this Van Gogh-inspired glowing bike path. This dude is clearly committed to changing the way people interact with the urban landscapes. And he’s also good at the internet.