We featured plants that improve indoor air quality before but these modern looking objects, designed by Parisian designer Mathieu Lehanneur, take air-filtering a step further. Bel-Air is ‘a domestic spacecraft’ whose live plant absorb the toxic compounds in the air. Dirty air is sucked in, filtered by the plant and out comes purified air. The toxic compounds derive from the manufactured products around us, who, even after years of being made, keep giving off tiny particles of the material they consist of. Such a material, say from your wooden office table for example, could be formaldehyde. This commonly used chemical compound is listed by the World Health Organisation as ‘definite carcinogenic’, as it explains in the Scenario description of Bel-Air. What Bel-Air does is take in the air and filter it through the roots and leaves of its containing plant to eliminate the toxic compounds. It uses the same 5 plants that NASA has identified in the 80's for being very efficient in absorbing toxins.
Bel-Air consists of a transparent (Pyrex) and white (aluminum) box, through which you can see the plant, and a fan. Its advantages to other filtering systems: no filters to change or to clog up as the plant basically replaced these. The plant in addition to keeping its decorative properties becomes a more functional object in your home. Currently only available as a prototype, you can see Bel-Air at Le Laboratoire in Paris until January 2008, after which it will travel to MoMA in New York to form part of the exhibition 'Design and the Elastic Mind' starting in February. Via: Core77 ::Mathieu Lehanneur