This extremely offbeat finalist in the Project Greenway competition organized by the Columbia University School of Architecture is made using pulp containing fungal spores. When you inhale, airborn bacteria is filtered out; on the exhale, the seeds in the mask are encouraged to sprout thanks to the breath's moisture and carbon dioxide. And a surprising amount of C02 gets sequestered. "An average adult weighing 154 pounds exhausts 456 liters of carbon dioxide a day," notes designer Robert Ortega. "Encapsulating this from the breath can have a significant effect on the total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."
Even cooler, once the mask takes root, it can be planted into soil. Small wonder this nifty "Green Screen" placed in the final five.
- Lesley Scott