Dutch artist makes jewellery out of Beijing’s smog

Smog Free Project, an initiative that created the world’s largest vacuum tower that can transform smog into clean air, is further using smog to make accessories.

© Erhard Renz 

Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde is making jewellery out of the smog absorbed from his Smog Free Project in Beijing, China.

The Smog Free Project was started at Rotterdam through Roosegaarde’s Kickstarter campaign that built a massive air purifier. The Chinese government took notice of this and eventually commissioned Roosegaarde’s studio to build the same structure in Beijing’s 798 Arts District.

Now, Roosegaarde takes his cause a step further by converting the smog that’s collected from the vacuum tower into jewellery.

In an interview with Artsy, he said that they knew that smog is 42% carbon and diamonds are made from pressurised carbon, and so they found a way to turn smog into cubes that embellish rings and cufflinks.

“We were capturing the particles from the air and had buckets of this stuff standing in our studio, and after a while we thought, ‘We should do something with this—waste should not exist,’” he explained.

The tower has been reported to make the air in the region 55% cleaner since its installation last September 2016. Roosegarde told Artsy that he thought of this project when he had a smoggy view from his hotel room in Beijing.

“I thought, we have to use creative thinking to improve life, and not wait for government and industry to wake up. It’s the role of the artist to come up with new proposals,” he said. He then went to “build the largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world, which sucks up polluted air from the sky, cleans it, and then releases clean air.”

The project is looking to expand in other Chinese cities and as well as in India.

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