I’m currently co-operating with architect Iris de Kievith on the project Smogware (Servies in Dutch). The air quality in Rotterdam (where initially the project started) is not good for our health. We as citizens can be part of a solution by changing our daily habits; but how to change your habits for something that you cannot see? The project aims to visualize and materialize the invisible particulate matter. The project elaborated in other cities and countries as well, like Amsterdam, The Hague, Wijk aan Zee, Beijing, Berlin, Kiel, Milan and Bruges.
The dust is used as a material for glazing and coloring the porcelain tableware. The particulate matter on the tableware is the same as we breathe day in and out. It is simultaneously attractive and repellent. We harvest the dust with locals and organize dinners to eat from the seemingly ‘dirty’ tableware in order to start a discussion about the consequences of particulate matter for our health and how we can improve the air quality if we join forces. This trans disciplinary approach is needed in order to tackle the complex topic ‘air quality’. The project Smogware triggers imagination and allows a dialogue and cross-pollination of knowledge between experts and non-experts, citizens and politics.