This year’s IDEA produced, as per usual, some fascinating forays into the future of design. For the student awards, the bronze medal went to Julia Burke of the University of Notre Dame, who created a system called Green Air, a “low-cost, space-efficient air purification system that uses plants to reduce toxins in the air”. The system works as such:

The wall-mounted ceramic planter contains a small 115 VAC fan that slowly pushes air through the soil to the plant’s roots, a process that breaks down toxins equal to that of 15 regular plants. A conical bottom allows users to easily replace plants without interfering with the fan. GREEN AIR’s organic, twisting form appears to wrap around the plants in an elegant, nurturing manner, and its matte, textured ceramic exterior is a soft contrast to the plant’s dark, glossy foliage. Because over-watering is the number one reason indoor plants die, an ambient temperature sensor, which looks like a droplet of water, changes from blue to brown to indicate when and how much water the plant needs.

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