In a an effort to curb overcrowding and declining air quality in today's cities, designer Ádám Miklósi has come up with innovative urban pods that not only provide respite from congested streets but also actively purify surrounding air. Dubber 'Chlorella,' these donut-shaped pods use photobioreactors comprised of algae to produce fresh oxygen and filter out CO2 emissions and other contaminants, while providing seating for up to ten people.
Miklósi says on his website, "I would like to create a new custom for the future urbanists: using oxygen bars. The breathing fresh oxygen will be similar experience like the saunas where people enjoy the warm air, like the light rooms where the users feel the psychological benefit of the “sunshine”. In these pavilions the users can relax, and of course the oxygen supports the healing effect."
Solar paneling and diffused outer membranes provide controlled lighting in the pods, while the algae-powered air purification system creates a oxygen oasis for passing pedestrians.
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The pods are a sign of a growing effort to wield design to combat a series of problems in heavily populated urban centers around the globe. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 60 percent of the world's population will reside in cities, and as underdeveloped nations continue to grow economically, pollution and air quality control will become even more pressing.
While pollution-free islands may be a step in the right direction, the future is beginning to look a bit dystopian if our only hope of clean air and a calm atmosphere come in the form of small, artificial shelters from a deteriorating urban landscape - but the more designs that bring attention to the need to address these growing problems, the better.