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Air filtering plants. Air filtering walls. Air filters hanging from the ceiling, and pinned on backpack straps.
If the 20 semi-finalists in the 2013 Electrolux Design Lab competition are any guide, the next generation of designers sees air pollution as a primary challenge of 21st century urban life.
The annual contest, sponsored by Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux, elicits thousands of entries from design students around the world. The winner receives a €5,000 prize and a paid internship at Electrolux.
This year, the theme is “Inspired Urban Living,” and students were given the choice of three approaches to the challenge of urban life (filtered through the priorities of a company that makes a lot of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and air conditions): “social cooking,” “effortless cleaning,” and “natural air.”