Designs of the Year 2015

The second exhibition that I had to attend as part of the Design Factory this year was the Designs of the Year 2015. I thought this year around it was a lot better than the previous year. It had a lot of great innovations and designs that were very interesting to see and learn about, based on the theme of migration.

There was a range of designs and concepts from designers from all disciplines. One of the ones that caught my eye was the ‘Air Purifying Billboard’. The billboard operates by using a water filtration system. By combining polluted air with water using basic thermodynamic principles-it actively dissolves pollutants (such as bacteria, dust and germs) in the water to release fresh air. Its main constituent raw material (water) is 100 percent sourced from recycled water. Using little energy to run the billboard is able to provide fresh air to up to a five block area. I think this is a great idea and one that is very much needed in many cities around the world.

Another design that grabbed my attention was The Ocean Clean up concept. Even though this is only a concept at this stage I think it’s something that should be done. The concept involves as the name hints, cleaning the oceans of plastics and other litter. What makes this different from previous attempts at creating something similar to this is the fact that it is a much more efficient way of doing it and a more environmentally friendly way of doing it. By that I mean that it wouldn’t use large ships and nettings to collect the plastic as that could harm ocean life it’s not a very viable solution. Instead permanent stations would be set up in locations across the ocean that use the natural currents to collect the plastics using floating barriers, that plastic would then be recycled.

During the manufacturing process the designer would have had to consider the amount of energy it would take to run these billboards so that it would not become counter productive by over using energy to keep these running. Also the other materials at use to produce the billboard should be sustainable and easily recycled once there is no more use for them. Even though this is a technology that will be needed for as long as pollutants keep getting pumped into the environment. Another use for them once they are no longer in need would be to use them as preventative or warning of contaminant such as germs and bacteria to even gas leaks in the area. 

I think this is a great idea and a much needed one but perhaps there are a few things that could be done differently. First of instead of having an actual billboard the board itself could be covered in some sort of vegetation, adding to the it’s sustainability and maybe even its filtering potential. This could also attract wild life into the area and simply help make cities greener. Solar panels should be added to power these even though they don’t use too much energy why not make them fully sustainable. These could be implemented on a wider scale, on the sides of buildings keeping the vegetation wall mentioned or added on public transport such as trains and buses. On another hypothetical use would be to implement the green walls using these billboards and produce hydroponic farms on buildings or simply having vertical gardens.

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