Increasing air pollution is affecting people’s physical and mental health. Unfortunately, no effective actions have been taken. We might not be able to breathe the air directly in the very near future. How might design help expedite the change needed to reverse this trend?
The pop-up installation of “Future Breathing Store 2038” presents an unexpected experience of a future-present intersection in a daily set-up through three speculated everyday future breathing products, revealing the mundane but alien breathing techniques that will evolve in the heavily air polluted environment of China. They are The 3rd Lung Mask for fast-fashion, the Personal Lung Trainer for sports fashion, and the luxury oxygen cigarette for high fashion. The three distinguish brand feelings ground and locate the products to possible markets and customers for broader resonances.
The inherently strange gestures of using these products make us rethink our relationship with the air today, leading to impactful conversations and cultural reflection. Considering any breathing apparatus as normal behavior is a form of complacency that accepts polluted air as a permanent fact of life. The three products turn the mundane crutches such as dust masks into objects of resistance, loudly proclaiming to the world “No, we will not accept air pollution as our reality or future generations’ reality.” By designing them to be highly fashionable and functional pieces, their use and collective voice carry more clout.