The Smog Project

Smog, a portmanteau of ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’, is unfortunately becoming more and more common in our industrialised world. It’s known to be composed of filthy and harmful fine dust particles. Beijing is notorious for high concentrations.

In trying to tackle smog, most people try to reduce its production. After visiting the Chinese capital, Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is proposing a different solution. His Smog project uses electromagnetic principles to clear the damaging particles from the air.

The project uses patented ion technology to create large holes of clean air. It works as follows.

Electrically charged wires emit positively charged particles, or ions. These collide with smog neutrally charged particles, which become positively charged too. This creates a kind of positively charged cloud space.

These are attracted to anything with a reverse charge. Using electromagnetic elements, whole clouds of the smog can be sucked away as the particles become attached to the elements.

The plan is large in scope, and it will need further development before a prototype can be launched.

To achieve this, the designer is partnering with technologists Bob Ursem and ENS Europe. Together, they are attempting to create the world’s largest air-purifier to create a clean, smog-free park in Beijing.

And what happens with the collected particles? It is a bit of a pipe-dream, but Daan wants to compress the dust. Under very high pressure, the carbon in it will turn into diamond. Selling these diamonds may help finance the super-sized vacuum cleaner.

You can catch up with Daan at the Shanghai Architects Fair at the end of this month, where Materia will be exhibiting some of the most relevant materials for design.

Images via Studio Roosegaarde.


  1. Mark Biemans says:

    Sounds doable.
    Are the costs for the electricity already known by estimation?

    Mark Biemans
    “1st New World Peace Center”: