Shwaaas : The breath of the city - Air Quality Responsive Data Sculpture

Product Design, Interaction Design, Biomimicry

[Image] Air Quality Responsive Data Sculpture


Air pollution has become the major challenge of this time and the problem needs much more attention especially from designers, policy makers, industrialists etc. The air that we breathe is no more natural as it is polluted mostly because of uncontrollable human activities on the planet. According to world health organization 4.2 millions of deaths, every year are the result of ambient (outdoor) air pollution, with 91% of the world's population living in the places where air quality index exceeds the WHO guidelines. Children, pregnant woman and elderly people are most vulnerable to air pollution. The positive side is we collectively becoming aware of the pollution can control air pollution from crossing the red lines.

Shwaaas - the breath of the city – is a kinetic data sculpture, it is responsive to the quality of air around it. By changing its colours and breathing rhythm, this sculpture makes the quality of air visible in an experiential way. The sculptural form is inspired by the human heart and it is formed using origami folds. Symbolically, this sculpture is a piece of life on earth.

This sculpture has aesthetics in its functionality. Based on the geographical location the sculpture is placed into, it changes its functional meaning – like if the sculpture is placed at a crossroad, it might work as the medium through which air quality is being visualized - making it functional design artefact. If the same sculpture is placed in a public park or business parks, it might look as kinetic art around which people can just sit and observe the minute changes the sculpture goes through in response to air quality, where it works as an expressive art installation.