Free Air

Activity finished

Pl. de les Glòries Catalanes, 37, 08018 Barcelona


From 20 to 30 April, from 10 am to 10 pm
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Free Air is a public gathering machine that devotes its space to the element that connects cosmic dust with the lungs that we carry within our body: Air.

Designed as a performative infrastructure, Free Air contributes to Barcelona's environment through its reflective surface which harvests NO2 from the air. The installation focuses on the invisible qualities of air by helping us to see, contemplate, measure and understand a natural resource which, due to the amount of man-made pollution, is threatening the health condition of all citizens alike. Free Air, which due its photocatalytic coated texture, purifies and improves the condition of the air wherever it is placed, creates a meeting place for our current generation, and the generations to come. .

The pavilion is conceived as a research by design project and unfolds its means through various material strategies. Lightness, consistency and performativity are defined as the underlying design qualities for a new millennium and allude to the spatial manifestation of Free Air as a reversible, scalable and sustainable structure. The reflective, perforated surface is carried by a reusable structure that also supports several gadgets, like mirrors, solar panels and water collectors, that allow it to interact with its surroundings in visible and invisible ways. The installation's skin harvests particular matter such as nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides and carbon oxides, since its coating allows the installation to produce photosynthesis when exposed to light and therefore cleans itself and its surroundings over time.

Air and its quality will be measured and communicated through several technical instalments outside and within the installation, through LED ticker strips that count the amount and quantity of purified CO2 particles, screens within the pavilion that locate the pollution of air within Barcelona, and presentations that expose how the subject matter is addressed within other disciplines including photography, fashion, music and pop culture at large.

“According to the Spanish Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Resources, each year around 30,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in Spain. This is eight times more than the death toll caused by traffic accidents. Particulate matter (PM10) and ground-level ozone (O3) are the most significant pollutants in terms of health impacts, ranging from respiratory diseases to premature mortality: “Low wind speed and a high solar radiation, associated with high concentration of pollutants are representative of the Iberian Peninsula,” as stated by José María Baldasano, director of the Department of Earth Sciences and Air Quality at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).”

Free entry
Model awards
Daryan Knoblauch

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