Activated carbon


Made in

Pigment 49 Recycled 121 Regenerative 49 Smart Material 6 Natural binder 2

Activated carbon

Photos: Marie Melcore

Under (The) Line

The project uses a bioremediating method, to collect and reuse volatile air pollutants in indoor public and urban spaces. The air pollutants are then collected and used as a resource for a new type of pigment.

At the intersection of biomimicry, material science, new systems thinking and regenerative design, this project aims at bioremediating air pollution in London Underground stations. This has led to a design which goes beyond the filtering process, bioremediating air pollution as a resource for the creation of a new type of pigment. Through a self-sufficient filtration system, the urban furniture proposed and the pollution it can store are reusable as an art material: pastels.

The project relies on technology and organic chemistry. By evolving a design solution within the context of a bio-circular economy, the process only uses local, renewable and bio-based resources. At the nanoscale, the innovative material is capable of capturing and storing air pollutants through a phenomenon called physical adsorption.

To shape it, parametric and computational designs have been used to propose a lattice structure specifically dedicated to Underground stations. In that sense, the structure is modular and scalable according to how polluted the surrounding environment is. After being suspended for two months in Underground stations, the furniture is ready to be deconstructed and sold as pastels.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Plant-based binders, activated carbon


Nancy Diniz | Course Leader MA Biodesign UAL, Victoria Geaney | Associate Lecturer Design Studios CSM, Alice Taylor | Lecturer of Biology and Living Systems CSM, Shem Johnson | Grow Lab Specialist Technician CSM, Abdul Mohammed | Digital Specialist Technician CSM