Published: June 30, 2016

Dutch designer Dan Roosegaarde is taking his smog-sucking tower on a tour of China, starting in Beijing.

by Cat DiStasio

It’s difficult to determine whether Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde hates smog, or loves it. The artist garnered global attention last year by creating jewelry from smog harvested in Beijing, one of the world’s most polluted cities. He’s also the inventor of a smog-sucking electric tower that was designed to clean up China’s pollution-riddled skies, and now he’s partnered with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection to launch Smog Free Project China, which will take Roosegaarde and a team of air pollution experts on a tour of China, exhibiting Smog Free Tower and Smog Free Jewelry.

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Daan Roosegaarde at WEF

Smog Free Project China is a Kickstarter-funded exhibition intended to raise awareness about air pollution, as well as offer solutions. After its successful run in Rotterdam, Roosegaarde’s project takes to Beijing, where the Smog Free Tower will be a focus, as it literally sucks pollution from the atmosphere. The tower creates a pocket of clean air in a polluted environment, inviting visitors to experience clean air—a rare occurrence in a city where air quality is a leading public health issue.

To give people something to remember after their clean air experience, Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Jewelry provides a tangible souvenir project. Particles collected by the Smog Free Tower are compressed, and made into rings and cufflinks, a lasting reminder of the very real problem of air pollution.

Smog Free Project China launched June 28 in Beijing and will eventually travel to five Chinese cities before returning to Beijing in the fall. Roosegaarde feels the project will inspire people to address the air pollution problem. “I believe we should do more, not less, and make modern cities liveable again,” he said. “Smog Free Project is the beginning of a journey to create solutions together towards smarter and brighter cities.”