While we all know that we are constantly surrounded by all kinds of pollutants (especially those living in metropolitan cities), it can sometimes be such an intangible thing. We sometimes need a visual reminder that we are continually inhaling smog, air pollutants, and other things that may be invisible. If you want to “see” all that, there is a new line of porcelain tableware that incorporates these air pollutants in its design and materials, although if you want to use it as you consume your food is questionable.
Designers: Iris de Kievith and Annemarie Piscaer
Thinking about pollution and eating or drinking may not be the most appetizing combination but Smogware is a minimalist, porcelain tableware collection that wants to make you think even as you consume food. The creators were able to harvest dust, specifically the air pollution from Rotterdam, Netherlands, and incorporate it into things like plates, coffee cups, cereal bowls by seamlessly glazing the particles onto the items. They don’t look anything like pollutants if you didn’t know the background behind it.
Some items in the collection include around one gram of particulate matter which is the estimated amount that a citizen in the Dutch city inhales over a period of ten years. The particulates depend on the hues and colors of the items and may indicate the dust that we breathe in for 25, 45, 65, or 85 years. It’s a stark reminder that air pollution is one of the worst problems we face and that people living in cities need to take additional protection and precautions or demand for some action from their local officials.
The Smogware collection includes 6 pieces like plates, cups, bowls, etc. They come in different earthen colors with gradients to show off the incorporated pollution materials. If you didn’t know they were there, it would look like a pretty, minimalist tableware line. But having that “backstory” should make us more aware of what we’re breathing in, although it may also make you lose your appetite while eating or drinking.