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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Diamonds That Can Help Make Beijing Air Clean

Diamond is a mineral mostly consisting of carbon. The rest part that doesn't belong to 'mostly' are impurities that add some color to diamonds turning them into highly sought-after colored gems. Since the people could study the composition, structure and natural processes under the Earth mantle that forego diamond formation, they were able to reproduce them on the top of the ground to create real diamonds. They are known as 'laboratory diamonds', 'cultured diamonds' or 'man-made diamonds'. Later this technology was used to make memorial diamonds – diamonds that are made of human hair or ashes, which are carbon-containing materials, too. But Daan Roosegaarde went to even greater extremes – he decided to turn city's soot to diamonds.

Daan Roosegaarde is a designer and the founder of the Studio Roosegaarde, the social design lab for interactive art, architecture and fashion. He became known six years ago for one of his so called 'poetic-dramatic' projects and now Mr. Roosegaarde is thinking over another project to realize. He is inspired (if this is a correct word to say) by heavy industrial smog of Beijing that he can observe often from the window of his room. That made him think over of how he can incorporate it into something useful and beautiful, thus to make parks of Beijing smog-free. The byproduct of his latests project is a smog ring, the ring made of soot the smog consists of.

I like the notion that you take something high-end and combine it with the problematic,” Mr. Roosegaarde said.

The ring is still in the design but it's known that this will be a simple band ring with a clear central stone made of smog particles taken from Beijing city air. It's going to be of a cube shape to symbolize a cubic kilometer of smog that became clear thanks to the ring. Thus, each customer will buy not a simple ring but a cubic kilometer of clean air. This is the carbon soot from coal that looks like a black dust overcasting the whole city that is taken as a raw material for Roosegaarde's diamonds.

The rings will be ready by the end of 2014 and they'll come in two versions. The first one will be a budget version with a stone made by a hand-operated press right there in the parks, while the more expensive rings will contain real diamonds manufactured by expensive mechanized chambers. Most likely the stones will retain some tint of color due to impurities in the soot.

The main idea first off is to make people aware of the problem of air pollution. But breaking all rules Mr. Toosefaarde decided to make it in an artistic and lovely way.

What do you think of such an unusual way to attracting people's attention to problematic issues? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

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