Tools for change: Air Hack exhibition


Air Hack was hosted by Makerversity at Somerset House in London last week. The event brought together designers, makers, activists, and technologists to pitch innovative ways to address air pollution.

The Guardian reported that London reached the legal air pollution limit just one month into the new year and toxic air has been at illegal levels in the city and most urban areas in the UK since 2010. The city’s air pollution crisis results in about 40,000 early deaths a year.

Makerversity wanted to tackle the issue by hosting a series of events, starting with a two-day hack. The results of the hack are currently being exhibited at Somerset House.


The Air Hack winner was #dirtymessages, an interactive awareness campaign that highlights the toxic air Londoners breathe in on the underground. Using wet wipes to remove and capture pollution from the skin, commuters can sign the petition on the packaging and send their pollution-coated wet wipe to the authorities, demanding action to clean up the dirty air. Alongside this, a series of responsive posters designed to alter with the build-up of particulate pollution, would visually highlight pollution levels in key locations around the Tube.

In second place came ActiveAir, a footwear concept that helps reverse the damage of air pollution by directly filtering the air at ground-level through the soles of your shoes.

Watch this video to learn more:

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